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Full text of "Poems of Robert Dinsmoor, "the Rustic bard""

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TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



Prefatory : Table of Contents — Preface 
Introduction to Second Edition . 
Jamie Cochran: The Indian Captive 
Events of the Bard's School-Days 
Skip's Last Advice 
To the Sleepy Shepherd 
Revolutionary Letter 
A Puzzle in Relationship 
To Cousin Molly . 
The Bennington Battle 
Lines Addressed to Miss Jennie French 
Letter to Master Joseph McKeen 
Lines Addressed to Molly Park . 
Acrostic : Mary Park, Robert Dinsmoor 
Epitaph to John Armor .... 
Lines Addressed to John Orr • . 
Death of his Beloved Wife, Mary Park 

The Riddle 

Answer to The Riddle .... 
Lines to Hon. Silas Betton 
The Election of Hon. Jeremiah Smith 
Robert Dinsmoor to Hon. Silas Betton 
Answer to Dr. John Park . . 

Letter To Mr. Allen 

Robert Dinsmoor to Hon. Silas Betton 
Robert Dinsmoor to Samuel Armor . 

A Father's Lament 

The Answer 

Response to the "Echo" .... 



1-16 
17-42 
43-53 
53-59 

59-64 

64 
6.:-71 

71 
72-74 
74-81 
81-83 

83 
84-87 

87 



S9-91 

91-93 

93 

94-96 

96-98 

98 

99-103 

103-10 9 

109-111 

111-114 

114-116 

116-119 

119-121 

.121-125 



b TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

Robert Dinsmoor to Hon. Silas Betton . . . 125 

The Poet's Farewell to the Muses .... 126-131 

Robert Dinsmoor To Hon. Silas Betton . . . 131-136 

Spring's Lamentation and Confession . . . 136-142 

To Sarah Dinsmoor 142-144 

The Sparrow 144-146 

The PosT-Bor's Address 146-151 

To Miss Harriet Ayer 151-153 

Come Smiling Muse 153-156 

The Wheels of Time 156-159 

Lines Addressed to Miss Wealthy J. Betton . 159-161 

Retrospect After Illness 161-164 

The Fourth of July, 1815, in Chester, N. H. . . 164-167 

The Last of Bonaparte 167-1 6!> 

An Old Tea-Pot 169-172 

Thanksgiving Day 17-2-175 

To Hon. Silas Betton . . 175-176 

To Mrs. Agnes Park 178-180 

To Rev. David M'Gregore 180-182 

The Frosted Corn 182-185 

Adieu to Mrs. Betsey Hopkins 1S5-188 

To Henry Davidson 180-191 

To Sarah Davidson 191-193 

To the Branch Church 193-195 

Robert Dinsmoor to Hon. Silas Betton . . . 195-198 

To James Newhall 198-201 

To Isaac Cochran 201-205 

The Response 205-209 

A Farewell to Miss Mary e. Dinsmoor . . . 20!) 

To Rev. William Frothingham 210-212 

My Trusted Friend 212-215 

On the Death of Hon. Silas Betton .... 215-217 

To Robert Dinsmoor Titcomb 217-220 

To a Friend 220-222 

To Isaac McGaw 222-224 

Answer to the Printer 224-225 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



To Isaac A. Dinsmoor . 

To Mrs. Susanna Gregg 

to e. w. reinhart 

Verses on Spring . 

The Auld Gun 

Celebration, Windham, N. H. 

To Col. Silas Dinsmoor 

To Miss Annie Orr 

To Mary Eliza Dinsmoor . 

To Mrs. Sarah Davidson . 

Balaam's Answer . 

To Mr. Joseph Ladd . 

To Miss Elizabeth Williams 

To Rev. William Miltimore 

Epitaph on Madam Miltimore 

To Miss E. C. . . . . 

To Mr. Isaiah Webster 

To the Same Gentleman . 

To the Editor of the Haverhill Gazi 

To Miss Catherine Abbott 

To Rev. Mr. , or B 

To Mrs. Sarah Davidson . 

Lines to His Granddaughter 

Installation Hymn 

To Edward P. Harris . 

To Sir Walter Scott . 

To Mrs. Sarah Park . 

Ode Sung at the Dedication of r j 

in District No. 1, Windham 
Appendix . . . . ... . 

Glossary 



•225-228 

228-230 

230-232 

232-234 

234-236 

236-238 

238-243 

243-246 

246-250 

250-253 

253-256 

256 

257-259 

259-261 

261 

262 

263-266 

266 

267-269 

269-271 

271-273 

273-275 

275 

276 

277-280 

280-282 

282-284 

284-286 
287-314 
315-325 



PREFACE. 



The Hod. Silas Betton, a distinguished son of 
Windham, N. H., afterward a worthy resident of 
Salem, and honored citizen of the State, who died 
Jan. 22, 1822, placed the citizens of his native 
town, of the past, the present, and the future, 
under an obligation which but few seldom realize ; 
and placed every member of the Dinsmoor family, 
and blood of whatever name, for all time, under a 
load of debt which they can never repay, by per- 
forming a literary and historical work of which, he 
probably, had only a faint idea of the significance, 
importance, and historical value. Having a classi- 
cal education, literary ability, love for literary work, 
and a warm personal regard for Dea. Robert Dins- 
moor*, he carefully inspected the political and other 
writings of the latter and substantially prepared 
them for the press. He urged their publication and 
made possible to Robert Dinsmoor what he accom- 



* Robert Dinsmoor' 5 , the Bard, the sixth generation 
from his first known ancestor in Scotland, was born in 
Windham, New Hampshire, Oct. 7, 1757, died March 16, 
1836. He was son of William Dinsmoor 5 , and his wife, 
Jane Cochran, of that place ; the grandson of Robert 
Dinsmoor 4 , and his wife, Margaret Orr, of Windham, 
but natives of the North of Ireland, and the great- 



10 PREFACE. 

plished six years after Mr. Betton's death, namely, 
the publications of his poems. By this book, crude 
though it was, a vast fund of family and local history 
of inestimable value, which would have been utterly 
lost, was preserved for the then present, and for all 
the thankful and appreciative generations of the 
future. These two public-spirited sons of Wind- 
ham were benefactors and educators of the people. 
Thankful am I that the writings of the k ' Rustic Bard" 
were published. These two persons, already men- 
tioned, have placed me under obligations which I most 
gratefully acknowledge. Pleasure has been derived 
from perusal of the book, and the richest kind of 
joy from searching out from between its covers 
many hidden gems of historical value which were 
culled from some of its teeming pages. These facts 
have been utilized, woven into other books and 
become the common property of all. Criticism 
comes easy ; but long experience of one in a similar 
field of labor is wonderfully conducive to a spirit 
of charity. Excellencies will be more observable 
than defects ; the upright and elevated motives of 
an author, the good he has done, the beautiful 



grandson of John Dinsmoor 3 , (and his wife, Hannah 

), the first of the name in New Hampshire, who 

was here in 1723, and who came from Ballywattick, 
Ballyinoney, County Antrim, Ireland, and died in Lon- 
dondeny, N. H., in 1736. The latter was son of John 
Dinsmoor' 2 , born in Scotland about 1650, who was the 
son of Laird Dinsmoor 1 , who lived at Achenmead, on 
the bank of the River Tweed in Scotland. 



PREFACE. 11 

things lie has preserved, will stand forth to right 
minds and hearts in more dazzling light than can 
any defects caused by lack of experience, or lack of 
knowledge in that department of labor. One's 
charity becomes as broad as the bending heavens ; 
deep sympathy and appreciation takes the place of 
sentiments of an opposite character. 

The first edition of the writings of the " Rustic 
Bard" were published in 1828 and its copies are 
exhausted. 

The Second Edition. 

The labor of compiling and editing the Second 
Edition has been arduous but pleasant. It was 
prompted by a desire that others had expressed, 
that the task should be done now, with the uttered 
fear, lest it might never be done at all. In this 
desire and fear I fully shared. Knowing that the 
appearance and contents of the copies of the 
First Edition were not satisfactory to the author, 
his friends, or the subscribers, it was my wish that 
the Second Edition should be issued, and that its 
copies should contain more nearly what the " Bard " 
desired, that its mechanical execution should be 
good, well printed on excellent paper, nicely bound, 
and its general appearance such as to do credit to 
the author, to its contents, to his relatives, the sub- 
scribers, and the general public who favored the 
undertaking by its patronage. 



12 PREFACE. 

Another motive iDfliiencecl me — the ik Bard " was 
a brother to my father's mother and my great-uncle ; 
a life-long citizen and historic personage of my 
native town ; a member, and one of the noted charac- 
ters too, of one of the oldest, most numerous, most 
respectable and brainy, of the many brainy, numer- 
ous, and most respectable Scotch-Irish families of 
this famous early colony. Upon many of his family 
name aud many of the people of the Scotch-blooded 
settlement in which he lived, nature had been lavish 
in bestowing a versatility of rich, mental and intel- 
lectual gifts. They were cut from no stinted 
pattern. They were of the best type, physically, 
intellectually, and morally. The strong, resolute, 
religious characters, which " endured hardness " in 
the Lowlands of Scotland, baptized with a fresh 
baptism of suffering and sorrow, as well as crowned 
with a new heroism and added strength in Ireland, 
came to this hard-soiled locality and developed still 
more striking powers of strength and vigor. 

Seventy years had gone since the first edition was 
printed, and no one came forward to assume the 
mental labor and financial risk which an undertak- 
ing like this involved. Ordinarily, it could not be 
done without pecuniary loss. 

Only a long familiarity of a score of years with 
similar work, a thorough knowledge of every detail 
of its business and financial management, a long 
list of many hundred names of Scotch-Irish people, 
with those of Dinsmoors, and those related of dif- 



PREFACE. 13 

ferent patronymics, and those of other appelation 
in this country, and some abroad, with virtually 
every library in New Hampshire, and many others 
in all parts of the United States, making some 
twenty-three hundred names in all, to whom 
announcement of the work by circular was sent, 
enabled me successfully to prosecute the work to 
completion. 

This book is not a reprint. It is much more. 
It is an entire new compilation and new arrange- 
ment of the writings of Robert Dinsmoor. Many 
pages of the excellent writing of other writers in 
the early edition have been omitted, for there was no 
propriety in their being there. I have been through 
several times all the writings of Mr. Dinsmoor, 
whether in print or in manuscript, and as far as 
possible have arranged all his writings of merit in 
chronological order. The pruning knife has been 
used. Parts of the printed poems have been omitted 
w r hen needful. Many new ones, with Revolutionary 
letters, have been inserted. 

They who once knew Robert Dinsmoor, who died 
sixty-one years ago, are now few, for the most have 
passed on. I was very fortunate in securing a 
nephew of the poet, one who knew him well, and 
who loved him, Hon. James Dinsmoor, of Sterling, 
111., to write the Introduction. His knowledge of 
the poet, his remarkable memory, his facile pen, 
and his literary ability made him easily the best 
prepared person living for this interesting and im- 



14 PREFACE. 

portant work. He has placed me (and has my 
thanks) and all who read this book, under great 
obligations for this most valuable "labor of love," 
which he has gladly rendered to the memory of his 
kinsman. It will live in the present and future 
with other literary memorials of honor which he has 
erected to his kindred, and to his native town and 
native state. 

In this book readers must not expect too much. 
Its interest is largely to those of a class and to 
localities. It is of value to those of Scotch, or 
Scotch-Irish stock. Many of its pages, written 
in the Lowland Scotch dialect, once spoken by all 
in this settlement, now entirely vanished, but 
which he has locally preserved in literature, will 
always be of interest, and much of a curiosity, to 
all of that stock. 

But in these pages they need not look for the 
refinement, polish, culture, and intellectual force of 
Tennyson or Wordsworth, Bryant or Longfellow, 
whose verses flow as smoothly as the waters of a 
deep, strong, silent river. Nor need they expect 
the tender sweetness of our own loved songster of 
the verdure-clothed valleys, the rolling waters, and 
the wooded hills of New England; he whom the 
people loved, to whom God gave a beautiful soul, 
the saintly Whittier, for the writings of such as 
these they will not see. They will behold only 
those of 



PREFACE. 15 

"The simple Bard, rough at the rustic plough, 
Learning his tuneful trade-from every bough, 
The chanting linnet or the mellow thrush, 
Hailing the setting sun in the green thorn bush." 

Old age came on apace, and in Windham, on his 
native heath, there lived 

" Beneath a craigy steep, the Bard, 
Laden with years and meikle pain." 

He was in "life's sere and yellow leaf," and 
could almost say, 

" I've seen sae mony changefu' years, 
On earth I am a stranger grown." 

On March 16, 1836, he was gathered to his 
fathers. 

He and John G. Whittier were personal friends, 
and the latter in his prose works, pays a "tribute 
of love" to the name of tbe Windham poet. " He 
flies now on Whittier's wings." 

On a high hill in Windham, in a cemeter}' over- 
looking the blue waters of Cobbet's pond, Robert 
Dinsmoor, the " Rustic Bard," rests with his family, 
friends, neighbors, and kindred. 

So Good bye, Old Bard, and Farewell, till the hour 
of meeting and greeting. 

LEONARD ALLISON MORRISON. 

Canobie Lake, Windham, N. IL, May, 1898. 



INTRODUCTION 

TO THE SECOND EDITION OF 
"THE RUSTIC BARD." 



Few persons ever read an author's writing with 
interest without feeling an intense desire to know 
something of the local habitation of the mind that 
thus afforded pleasure to an unknown reader. 

The human mind can no more conceive of mind 
without location, than matter can change its form 
and structural use, without the aid of mind. 

It is fit and proper that every man, woman, and 
child should be introduced to those who do not 
know them* by some one who does. This is one of 
the indispensable amenities of civilized life. The 
usher who holds that position to Royalty, considers 
it the post of honor, and himself the favorite of 
his Sovereign. The door-keeper to a legislative 
body, who determines on the propriety of time and 
person, to admit to presence of the body whose cus- 
todian he is, holds the post of duty. The person 
who is selected to preside over a deliberative body 
is clothed with a double duty, to preserve order 
and the proprieties of the purpose for which the 
body is assembled, and is presumed to be capable 
of faithfully and impartially passing on the public 
rights of those present — to hear and to be heard. 
And one of the minor things that a presiding offi- 
cer is bound to know, is, that when any subject 



18 INTRODUCTION. 

is brought before that body, deemed of sufficient 
importance to be referred to a Committee of his 
appointment, that he should select as Chairman 
one who is favorably disposed to the subject to 
be passed upon, following the well-known law of 
nature that the child is not put to an unwilling 
nurse. On this latter principle, it is to be presumed 
that the Editor as presiding officer has selected the 
writer, one of the few remaining nephews who 
knew, loved, and honored the Rustic Bard in his 
lifetime. 

The only copies of the Rustic Bard now in print 
were printed and bound at the Author's expense, at 
the instigation and on the importunity of the prin- 
ter in Haverhill, Mass., for the pecuniary profit to 
be by him derived from the work. It was printed 
on poor paper, with old type, and bound with 
boards, leaves left untrimmed, perfectly destitute 
of artistic taste, as cheap as cheap could be and 
still be called a book, and thereby enable the printer 
and binder to get from the author his hard earned 
dollars for their every-way discreditable work. The 
Bard had been coaxed and importuned by the prin- 
ter for the work, with the promise that he would 
sell the book for sufficient to pay the printing and 
binding, and leave as many copies as the author 
desired, to sell or give away as he chose. He had 
had no personal experience in the book publishing- 
business and was deluded into the venture, without 
any written contract that would have protected him 
from such shabby conduct. The book, in its mechan- 
ism he considered an imposition on his good nature, 
which under the circumstances he could not cure 
and must endure. His personal friends, of whom 
he had many, in fact all who ever had the pleasure 
of his acquaintance, for he had no enemies, have 



INTRODUCTION. 



19 



nearly all passed over to the majority. Of his 
immediate descendants none of them have engaged 
in the book business, and while their good taste has 
called loudly upon them for a reprint, fitting in 
-workmanship to the intrinsic value of the literary 
work, and the refined literary taste of the day, no 
one has been quite ready to assume the work as a 
pecuniary enterprise or as a meed of affection to the 
Bard's memory. 

But time is a great restorer, and the law of com- 
pensation may be slow, but is sure. The editor, 
a, kinsman and townsman of the Bard, who by his 
untiring diligence and facile pen has reduced Town 
History to a science, and family Genealogy to a 
composite work of art, and in the printed page not 
only embalmed the living and the dead, but thereby 
built to his own memory monuments more enduring 
than granite, which are cherished by the present 
generation as legacies of untold worth, and will be 
treasured by the unborn generation, has undertaken 
to dress in fitting costume for the public gaze, a 
second edition of the Rustic Bard. 

Now with this prelude, I take pleasure in intro- 
ducing to the reader Robert Dinsmoor, New Hamp- 
shire's Rustic Bard. 

Robert Dinsmoor was the eldest son of William 
and Elizabeth Cochran Dinsmoor, and was born in 
Windham, N. H., Oct. 7, 1757. He was the great- 
grandson of the John Dinsmoor who came to Amer- 
ica from the County of Antrim, Ireland, in 1723, 
landed near the G-eorges*, so called, on the coast of 



* Williamson's Maine, pp. 42, 97, says : " St. George's 
Fort was built in 1719-20. Here was erected a capacious 
and defensible building on an elevation near the easterly 



20 INTRODUCTION. 

Maine, where there was an English fort, and while 
engaged in building a house for himself was taken 
captive by a band of Indians and carried away a 
prisoner. I have not been able to find any historic 
account of his settlement, or attempt to settle at 
that place, save that given by the Rustic Bard in 
the first edition of his poems, and I give it as the 
family tradition thus authenticated by his own pen : 
"The Indians had appeared quite friendly to him 
while so engaged in preparing himself a house, 
often visited him, and called him and themselves in 
their broken English ' all one brother,' till one day 
they surrounded his unfinished cabin, with a war- 
whoop said, ' no longer one brother, you go Canada/ 
and he went with them, and was kept with them 
three months. The chief's name was John, and his 
prisoner was made his body servant. One day 
when the chief was called away to a council of war, 
the prisoner was accused by two squaws of having 
been seen on a point of land near the shore in con- 
ference with some Englishmen, and although the 



edge of the St. George's River, at the elbow, and a 
blockhouse at a short distance, having a large area 
between, enclosed by palisades and capable of receiving 
250 men." 

In Eaton's Annals of Warren, Me., published years 
ago, is the following: "In 1719-20 two strong block- 
houses were erected, and the old trade house, which was 
situated directly in front of the spot, where the resi- 
dence of the late General Knox now stands, was remod- 
elled, being made a sort of fort." The site of General 
Knox's mansion was occupied in 1898 by the station of 
the Knox and Lincoln railway, at Thomaston, Me 

It was at Thomaston, Me , that Fort St. George stood. 
It was there that John Dinsmoor 1 landed when he came 
to America. It was there he built his house, and while 
shingling it was captured by the Indians. 



INTRODUCTION. 21 

chief was still absent, he was condemned to be 
burned. He was bound to a tree, the fatal pile of 
wood made around him and that instant to be fired, 
when providentially the chief returned and com- 
manded the execution delayed till he could enquire 
into the truth of the charge, alleging, if true, their 
tracks could be seen, as the ground there was 
sandy. The charge was soon proved to be false, 
and he, was reprieved. The last three days he was 
with them they traveled almost night and day, a 
great part of the time on k a dog trot,' carrying 
their canoes with them. When they had a river to 
cross, as soon as the chief was in the boat it was 
the prisoner's duty to push off and jump in after, 
and having just performed that duty at a certain 
river, the chief who had resolved to set him at 
liberty forbade him. He pleaded for liberty to 
step in, but the chief said, ' you much honest man 
John, you walk Boston.' He replied, ' the Indians 
will kill me.' The chief then told him how and 
where he could find a cave in a rock where he must 
lie three days and in that time the Indians would 
all be past. He gave him some bears' grease and 
nuts, saying, ' Indians and French have all this 
land, you walk Boston John, then take English 
canoe, walk your own country. You much honest 
man John.' He then took his solitary way and 
found the rock as he had been told. When he had 
lain there three days and nights, and seen the 
Indians, tribe after tribe, pass, till they had all 
gone, he arose from his cave and thought he must 
die of hunger, but by chance, or rather by Provi- 
dence, he found some cranberries which supported 
him till he arrived at Fort George. From thence 
he got a passage to Boston, and from there he 
visited his old friends and countrymen in Nutfield. 



22 INTRODUCTION. 

They had all been acquainted with him in Ireland. 
For the respect they had for the man, and perhaps 
moved by the narration of his perils and sufferings, 
the proprietors of Londonderry made him a gift of 
one hundred acres of land, and confirmed it by deed 
to him and his heirs forever. He was a mason by 
trade and built himself a stone house." 

This appears to have been in 1723. After that 
he sent to Ireland for his wife and children, but 
they did not reach him in his new home till 1730. 
Neither tradition nor family records had handed 
down to the Rustic Bard, the Christian or sir-name 
of his maternal great-grandmother, and so far as 
my enquiry in the family extends, which compre- 
hended every family of lineal descent up to 1883, 
I was not able to find the name, till during the 
current year the untiring research of Hon. Leonard 
Allison Morrison found that honest John had veri- 
fied the appelation given him by the Indian chief, 
by his last will and testament, made Oct. 6, 1736, 
proven Jan. 4, 1736-7, now in the Probate Records 
Office of Rockingham County at Exeter, N. H., (as 
every honest man should, by providing for his 
widow) had answered our enquiry by calling her 
Hannah. John and Hannah had two children who 
came to this country, a son and daughter. The son 
Robert had married in Ireland Margaret Orr, and 
his sister Elizabeth married John Hopkins, and the 
wife and daughter with her family went to live in 
the stone house built by the husband and father on 
the land given him by the proprietors, and it is well 
authenticated that they continued to live as one 
family till the death of John the father, and that 
thereafter his widow, Hannah, lived till her death 
with the daughter Elizabeth, which facts go to show 
that the Bard was not warranted in his conclusion 



INTRODUCTION. 23 

that the wife of John who came to this country was 
a second one, that had blessed him, for, genealogy 
rarely shows daughters falling in love with step- 
mothers. 

Robert Dinsmoor, the grandfather of the Rustic 
Bard, was evidently no ordinary man. We find 
him reaching the Londonderry Colonists in 1730, 
from whom he obtained title to a large tract of 
valuable land in the original town of Londonderry, 
which was near the tract deeded by the Colonists to 
his father, on which he built himself a residence, 
and which has been owned and occupied as a home- 
stead by his descendants till the present day. His 
eldest son, John, married the daughter of James 
McKeen, who, as chief man among the Colonists, 
came from Ireland in 1718, selected the London- 
derry tract of land for settlement, then called Nut- 
field, and his daughter Elizabeth married James 
McKeen, Jr. Upon the organization of the town 
of Windham, under grant of charter from the pro- 
vincial government of New Hampshire, this Robert 
Dinsmoor was named as Chairman of the three 
commissioners therein appointed to organize the 
town in 1742. His son William, born May 9, 
1731, was the father of Robert, the Rustic Bard. 
He married Elizabeth Cochran, granddaughter of 
the same Justice McKeen, and settled on a part 
of his paternal acres which, then a primeval forest 
of oak and pine trees, awaited the axe of the 
pioneer man, whose strong arm should level the 
forest and compel a hard reluctant soil to yield 
the fruits necessary to support a christianized civili- 
zation. By lot, the father, Robert, divided his lands 
between his three sons, who lived to manhood. 
John, the eldest, drew that part which extended 
northerly toward Londonderry. Robert, Jr., drew 



24 INTRODUCTION. 

the homestead, which occupied a commandiDg view 
of the country east and south, and in later years has 
been honored by a view of the once-renowned Boston 
and Concord Turnpike, and in still later years by the 
Lawrence and Manchester Railroad, and has had that 
rare attraction which has held spellbound to it the 
family name from generation to generation, known 
and honored for the intelligence and christian vir- 
tues of its occupants that has made the spot a 
beacon light to the passing ages. The younger 
son, William, the father of the Rustic Bard, drew 
by the same cast that portion of the domain which 
embraced "Jenny's hill," a mound of sixty acres 
or more from which can be seen the Monadnock in 
New Hampshire and the Wachusett in Massachu- 
setts. The land extended and embraced, in part, 
that charming lake, now surrounded by its beautiful 
farms and wood-capped hills, two and one-half 
miles long by one-half mile wide, and called " Cob- 
bet's pond " from the fact that the colonial govern- 
ment in Massachusetts, which never owned a foot 
of land near it, granted it with five hundred acres 
of land to a minister by that name, Rev. Thomas 
Cobbet, in Ipswich, Essex County in Massachu- 
setts, and thereby shows how unfortunate it is to 
get a bad name when young. But the very air of 
that place seems to have been poetic, as I find in 
the History of Windham a beautiful and touching 
tribute of affection to the memory of his deceased 
brother by the Bard's father, found in a letter to 
his sister, that has escaped the ravages of the tooth 
of time by the thoughtful care of the historian and 
is given a place here as a meed of honor : 



INTRODUCTION. , 25 

"When I reflect on days of yore 

When Sammy, my dear blither, 
Amang my feet did pile a store 

O' learning up the gither ; 
When ah ! poor me might had my share 

Had I na been o'er stout, 
It seemed sae far beneath my care 

I for it would na lout ; 
Had I improved that precious time 

As he did aft invite, 
I wad ua need to shame this rhyme 

Wi' ugly scribbled write. 
Whist muse ! be silent, haud your tongue ! 

Past time will ne'er come back — 
The time that's present or to come 

Let us the best o't mak." 

When we reflect on the condition of that part of 
New Hampshire then, a few poor settlers in a 
thickly wooded country with the land all to be 
cleared before it could be cultivated, with houses, 
roads, mills, churches, and indeed almost every 
element of civilization to be constructed, and that, 
too, on a sterile soil and in a hard climate, with 
"the Indians and French hanging on their flank at 
.all times, one would think that the common mind 
would have forgotten books and learning in the 
grand battle for personal existence. But here we 
And a man born amid this privation and grown to 
manhood, having reared a large family, all the time 
fighting the battle of life with really fearful odds 
against him, upbraiding himself for his neglect of 
learning in strains that speak at once pure affection 



26 INTRODUCTION. 

for his brother, a keen sense of his own mental 
defects, and evince a genius for composition worthy 
of cultivation. 

And here I must say that I would be committing 
an unpardonable sin to the reader were I to omit 
inserting a letter written by the Bard's father to his 
brother-in-law, James Nesmith, the husband of his 
sister Mary, and which letter was preserved in its 
original manuscript by the affectionate care of Mr. 
Nesmith and his descendants, and was first seen 
dressed in printer's ink in that hitherto matchless 
history of his native town, published in 1883, from 
the pages of which I am permitted to transcribe it* : 



TO MR. JAMES NESMITH, IN LONDONDERRY. 

" Now, faithful bearer, do as you're directed, 
And on your way be f ra ilk ill protected ; 
My service gie to Jamie my guid brither, 
And Moll his wife, the daughter o' my mither ; 
Tell them y'are sent as fast as y'e could rin, 
And bidden ask if a' be weel within ; 

If they say weel, and how's a' with yourseP, 
Gie them this paper, and say that will tell. 



* By the kindness of the grandson of the recipient of 
that letter, the late Hon. Geo. W. Nesmith of Franklin,. 
N. H., the original letter was copied by his own hand 
and transmitted to the writer of this while he wa& 
engaged in getting material for that work, and I cannot 
let pass this opportunity without paying a slight tribute 
to the memory of one so especially deserving. Mr. 
Nesmith graduated at Dartmouth College in that distin- 
guished class of 1820, the last class under President 
Brown, and was a member of College during the trial 



INTRODUCTION. 27 

Wi' ploughman's fare we best can clud a board. 
Baith meat and meal we seldom ever want ; 
For kail and barley we are never scant. 
Baith Irishmen and turnips we ha'e scouth, 
Set them down sep'rately } 7 et ha'e dishes routh. 
An if to see our stranger ye will come, 
Ye'll stand a chauce to get a glass of rum. 
If ony Rebrochs to fore till then 
Wi' it and syder, we the lave will spend ; 

And one thing more that a' the lave surpasses, 
We'll spin the time in cheerful merry clashes. 
When at my house ye twa at once I see, 
I'll take it greatest favor done to me. 
But, if I cannot see ye baith thegither, 
I'll conclude ye'll mak me a step-brither. 
Of ilka guid things may ye ha'e a store, 
Sa'e I remain your brither, Will Dinsmoor." 

Windham, Feb. 16, 1764. 



With the above well authenticated excerpt from 
the pen of the father, it appears the Scotch dialect 
and poetic skill were the inherited rights of the 
Rustic Bard. 

If the reader please, the letter to Mr. Nesmith 
shows the condition of that country in 1764. The 
only means of transportation from Londonderry to 
Windham for husband and wife was Bousey, the 
horse, the husband in saddle, wife on pillion behind 
with her right arm around him. No roads, no 
wheeled vehicles for conveyance, with no markets 
save the incoming emigrants, it is an unsolved 



28 INTRODUCTION. 

4 ' Then first of a' the wife's laid on the strae ; 

Tho' that seems hard, we are glad to see it sae. 
But, stranger yet, the first day of this week 
A chiel came in, that ne'er could speak 

Nor tell his name, nor yet what brought him here ; 

And yet to look at, he's baith fat and fair ; 
He often greets, yet cannot shed a tear, 
Nor can we think he guid or ill doth fear. 

Now what I want o' you, I'm gauen to tell, 

That you'd come here and see this sight yoursel'. 
'Tis no excuse to say the road is dreigh, 
To answer that, I'll say that Bousey'sf high. 

Nor dinna say ye baith can ill leave hame ; 

In saying that ye wo'd your bairns shame. 
Nor let me hear, ye ha' na' time, — 
That and true friendship's laws will never chime. 

Then tank nae mair, but mount and come alang, 

Though hills be high, Bousey will up them sprang. 
I this will say, and yet deny 'tis vaunting, 
The best within the house shall no' be wanting. 

Our house but seldom rarities affords ; 



of that famous Dartmouth College case, the decision of 
which by the Supreme Court of the United States pre- 
served the College for posterity as well as settled a great 
legal principle, which has hitherto withstood all shocks 
in legal combat, and the warm interest in the affairs of 
the College engendered by that contest remained with 
him through life. He was for many years a leading 
member in its Board of Trustees, and by his learning 
and urbane manners he graced the Judicial Ermine of 
his native state and left with the bar a pleasant memory. 
f The name of the horse. 



INTRODUCTION. 29 

marvel to this age how they successfully fought 
the battle of life. 

Such was the birthright condition of the Rustic 
Bard. His father and mother were both born amid 
similar or still greater privations in the same town, 
and here it is fitting to introduce the mother, who 
makes the boy if not the man. John Cochran was 
born in Londonderry, Ireland, in 1704, and came to 
the Londonderry, N. H. settlements soon after the 
first emigrants came. His aunt, Janet Cochran, 
had been the first wife of Justice McKeen, the 
leader of that renowned flock of sixteen heads of 
families who planted Londonderry, N. H. His aunt 
had died in Ireland, but as was natural enough, 
when John Cochran came to this country and to 
Londonderry he visited his uncle McKeen, and by 
that means was wisely induced to locate in Wind- 
ham on that tract of land then owned by Justice 
McKeen, but since by John Cochran and his lineal 
descendants by that name. He went upon his land 
single handed and alone and built his house and 
cleared up his land for four years, but during that 
time he returned to Ireland twice to visit his mother. 
On the second visit, as we have authentic account, 
the following dialogue between himself and mother 
occurred.: He told his mother that he must return 
to America ; she replied, " Ye maun stay at hame 
Joan, and not brake my heart by ganging awa." 
4 ' But I must go ; I have promised to marry the 
daughter of Justice McKeen and must go." "Weel ! 
Weel ! Joan, if ye ha' promised to marry Justice 
McKeen's daughter ye may gang"; and so he did, 
and married Jenny McKeen in June, 1734, and 
thereafterwards their daughter Elizabeth married 
William Dinsmoor and became the mother of the 
Rustic Bard and a numerous family. 



30 INTRODUCTION. 

Means for his obtaining an education aside from 
what his parents could teach him were very limited. 
He and the rest of his father's family learned to 
write on birch bark, and the after-life of each gave 
indubitable proof that paper was not a prime neces- 
sity to enable a lad to become a man of letters. It 
is a well-known fact that where the Scotch Irish 
came and settled in America there was planted a 
school-house and the Presbyterian church. When 
the Rustic Bard was nine years old, one of the 
most unique characters any country has ever pro- 
duced was ordained as minister over the Presbyter- 
ian church in Windham. He was the son of wealthy 
parents, born in Trim, in county of Meath, in the 
province of Leicester, Ireland, Feb. 19, 1729. He 
became attached to a young lady before he was six- 
teen years of age, and the girl's parents forbade 
her marriage ; the couple fled to England and sought 
protection from the Crown. The king became inter- 
ested in their story, and, attracted by their address, 
sent them to school, where they became highly edu- 
cated, and then thereafterwards married them in 
the city of London. He sent them to St. Thomas, 
one of the West India islands, where Mr. Williams 
taught school several years, removed to Philadelphia, 
Penn. ; was so far connected with Princeton College 
as to graduate there in 1763. He afterwards read 
divinity and was ordained over the church at Wind- 
ham, to which he ministered thirty-three years. 
Immediately after his ordination he opened a school 
at his house for the higher education of young men, 
and called around him the bright ambitious boys of 
that and the neighboring towns. That was two 
years or more before Dartmouth College was char- 
tered, and preceded all the other since famous 
schools and academies in New Hampshire. This 



INTRODUCTION. 31 

school blazed a new road to an education that was 
availed of by the Rustic Bard, so far as it was pos- 
sible for his father to spare him time to leave his 
work in the great struggle for life, and he often 
spoke of Mr. Williams with affection. But let me 
call the Rustic Bard to testify ; he says : 

1 k My father's great-grandfather was an emigrant 
from a place in Scotland called Achenmead, near the 
river Tweed, and settled near Bally wattick in the 
county of Antrim. My father's grandfather was the 
eldest son of that Scotchman and came to this coun- 
try about the time the first settlers of Londonderry 
came. He is yet remembered by many of the old 
people, and very respectfully called ' Daddy Dins- 
moor.' My father at the age of twenty-four mar- 
ried John Cochran's oldest child, Elizabeth, in her 
twentieth year, by whom he had six sons and four 
daughters. Their names were Janet, Robert, Mar- 
garet, John, Samuel, Mary, William, Isaac, and 
Elizabeth. Between Margaret and John one child 
died in infancy, which was the only child they ever 
buried. He was a wonderful mechanical genius, 
and made all the wooden utensils both for house 
and farm. He often served the town as Selectman, 
etc. ; was many years a military officer. His high- 
est commission, which is now in good liking, was 
Lieutenant-Colonel of alarm list. He died in Nov- 
ember, 1801, in his 71st year. Unfortunately for 
me, I had no opportunity of being a day at school 
till after I was nine years old. My parents, how- 
ever, had been careful to learn me many little 
lessons. At that time the Rev. Simon Williams 
was ordained pastor of the town, and for the 
improvement of singing Mr. James Aiken was 
hired to teach a singing- school every evening for 
a month. And a few of the neighbors hired him 



32 INTRODUCTION. 

to teach their children to read by the day for the 
same length of time. I went to school every day, 
and my father carried me to the singing- school 
every evening. Through the help of my father, a 
lover of music but no singer, I learned to find my 
mi and call the notes in any tuue. I believe I could 
sing every tune in the little Bailey book, and sev- 
eral in Williams' collection. Soon after this, Master 
Sauce, an old British soldier, being discharged at 
the end of the old French war, was hired to teach 
a school in our neighborhood for four years. At 
the age of eleven years I could repeat the shorter 
and larger catechism verbatim. Those, with the 
scripture proofs annexed to them, confirmed me in 
the orthodoxy of my forefathers, and I hope I shall 
ever remain a lasting evidence of the truth of what 
the wise man has said : ' Train up a child in the way 
he should go, and when he is old he will not depart 
from it.' Some years after Master Sauce left us, 
Master McKeen was employed to teach in the same 
school-house. He was a man of profound erudi- 
tion, but very dilatory in attending. If he took in, 
hand to catch a squirrel, by the way, he would do- 
it if it took half of the forenoon. My father sent 
me to school always when he could spare me, until 
the Revolutionary war came on. I could then read, 
write, and cipher tolerably." And he might have 
added in his epitome, as did Pope when speaking 
of himself, 

" While still a youth as yet unknown to fame, 
I wrote in numbers, for the numbers came." 

In person the Rustic Bard was of massive build, 
broad shouldered, heavy limbed, about five feet ten 
inches in height, and of about two hundred pounds 



INTRODUCTION. 33 

in weight. The Scotch-Irish in Windham of that 
generation were large and powerful men. Their 
feats of strength and agility were in their every-day 
labors as common and useful as the foot-ball trials 
by young men of the present day are debasing and 
disgraceful to civilization. No particular act of 
strength of his has come to the knowledge of the 
writer, but the amount of physical labor he must 
have performed to clear his land of its monstrous 
growth of timber, and the huge pile of stones used 
by him in fencing it. attest the muscular strength 
of the man. Evidence of his power of enduring 
labor can be seen in his letter to the Hon. Silas 
Betton, Dec. 22, 1812, when he encloses to him the 
Post-boy's address, of one hundred and forty- two 
lines, written, as he then said, almost all in the 
evening after his return from Haverhill with his 
ox team, a distance of twelve miles, which he had 
traveled twice that clay, being then fifty-six years 
old. The tact and genius of the man cannot be 
appreciated by the reader without knowing and 
considering the surroundings which affected him 
mentally and physically. With no public library to 
be consulted for mental food, with but few books 
that could be gathered into a private library for his 
use, with a farm of small dimensions, and a reluct- 
ant soil to yield sustenance for himself and family, 
it seems marvelous that he could have found time 
and inclination to perform any literary work that 
could escape the ravages of time and come clown to 
the present clay. But he did more ; he was a 
deacon in the Presbyterian church before he was 
thirty years old, was clerk of the session almost 
always after that till his death. Was always one 
of its most active members, and as clerk must of 
necessity be present at every meeting of the session. 



34 INTRODUCTION. 

He was genial and affable in his manners, was well 
informed of the affairs of the state and nation, had 
a good command of language and a ready wit. 
His correspondence was extensive for the times, 
and embraced people of culture and refinement, 
numbering among them Col. Silas Dinsmoor, who 
had been selected personally by President Washing- 
ton as the first agent sent to the Cherokee Indians 
by the government to teach them civilized life, and 
whose after life furnished another example of the 
wonderful tact of General Washington to read 
character by a personal interview. He kept up 
a brilliant correspondence with the Rustic Bard 
during the lifetime of the latter, which needed only 
a scholar's taste to have preserved it from the 
flames and afforded a rare fund of wit and humor 
as the priceless legacy of both to an appreciative 
posterity. But it was all lost. Many of the bril- 
liant students of Parson Williams, who in after life 
adorned the higher walks of life, by correspondence 
with the Rustic Bard, kept alive the spark of love 
and affection which had been kindled in their bos- 
oms for the place and the people by that eccentric 
and much loved teacher. 

The interchangeable letters of Col. Silas Betton, 
a graduate of Dartmouth College, who had honored 
that district by representing it in Congress. — and 
many others whose names appear in his correspond- 
ence — is proof of the high appreciation in which 
the life and character of the Rustic Bard was held 
by competent judges who knew him thoroughly. 

Civil and Military. 

In his town he held positions of trust and confi- 
dence, and in all places which sought his care and 



INTRODUCTION. 35 

attention the duties incident thereto were discharged 
with scrupulous fidelity, which facts, while they 
militate against the well-known characteristics of 
the poets in general, show what good blood and 
Scotch education can accomplish even when encum- 
bered by a poetic genius. In 1775, when the 
patriots of Boston had inaugurated a rebellion 
against the mother country, which they had not 
the means in military supplies to carry on without 
the help of their Scotch-Irish neighbors in New 
Hampshire and their more distant friends in Con- 
necticut, and when rebellion was at the price of 
every man's head caught in arms against the Brit- 
ish government, and when no government of any 
sort or kind stood behind the rebel on which he 
could call for pay for services or protection in case 
of failure of success, he volunteered to go to Boston 
to help repel the Regulars from the homes and fire- 
sides of the Massachusetts' rebel patriots. And 
again in the same year, when on the expiration of 
the term of volunteer service of the Connecticut 
men, Gen. John Sullivan of New Hampshire under- 
took and succeeded in raising 2000 men in New 
Hampshire in ten days, volunteers to supply the 
place of the Connecticut men who had gone home, 
he again made one of the 2000 that sprang to arms 
at the call of that New Hampshire man (who was 
the compeer of Washington in arms, of Adams in 
patriotic devotion to this country, then dimly seen 
with prophetic eye, and whose genius adorned every 
walk of life in which he trod) and there remained 
till the 2000 from New Hampshire were not longer 
needed. 

Again in 1777, when the province of New Ham- 
shire, unaided by the Continental Congress, raised 
and equipped the seeming necessary contingent of 



36 INTRODUCTION. 

men to aid in repelling the army of Burgoyne, 
which was sweeping clown from Canada by way of 
the Hudson to be under the command of that match- 
less Scotch-Irish hero, Gen. John Stark, the Rustic 
Bard — still a minor — took his foot in his hand 
and marched 175 miles to Saratoga, and with his 
thrilling fife helped swell the notes of music in that 
victorious rebel host which made prisoners of Bur- 
goyne and his supposed invincible army, and marched 
them securely to Boston*. 

The settlers of Londonderry were Scotch-Irish 
Presbyterians as taught by the sainted John Knox, 
and the Rustic Baid kept that faith as originally 
delivered to his ancestors. An anecdote related of 
him in the history of Windham, page 274, verifies 
this : For many years after the settlement of the 
town every tax-payer was obliged to contribute to 
the support of an Orthodox minister of the Gospel, 
and there was but one church, a Presbyterian. Dur- 
ing the ministry of Rev. Samuel Harris, a shoe- 



* u An amusing incident occurred on the march of the 
prisoners from Saratoga to Boston which better illus- 
trates the character of the New Hampshire troops of 
that day for daring bravery, as well as the method of 
conducting war in this country, than any facts or figures 
of the historian however artfully compiled. Lieutenant 
Badger (late General Badger, of Gilmanton, N. H.) was 
attached to the troops who acted as escort to the Bur- 
goyne army. While the American army, under General 
Sullivan, on its retreat from Canada in 1776 lay at Crown 
Point, the British forces being at St. Johns, the Ameri- 
can General being desirous of obtaining information 
relative to their anticipated movements, the Lieutenant 
had volunteered for that purpose; having selected three 
men who had been rangers in the French war and who 
knew that country well, embarked in a boat and landed 
at St. Johns at dark, and having seized a Canadian they 



INTRODUCTION. 37 

maker, who was a Methodist, moved into the town. 
He often asked Mr. Harris if he would exchange 
some Sunday with a Methodist minister from another 
place. Not meeting with success in obtaining his 
request, he one day told Mr. Harris that if he would 
exchange with his favorite Methodist minister, Mr. 
Peasley, he would make him a nice pair of calf-skin 
boots. The good man had a large and somewhat 
expensive family, and his salary was only four 
hundred dollars a year. The earnest importunity 
of the shoemaker, coupled with the promise of a 
pair of boots, broke down for him the barrier of 
sect that stood between the Methodist and the Pres- 
byterian, but he dare not make the promise for the 
exchange without consulting his elders. When the 
matter was laid before the session, Deacon Dins- 
moor at once exclaimed, " Mr. Harris ! Mr. Harris ! 
would ye sell y'r soul to the devil for a pair of 
boots? " It is sufficient to add that the exclamation 
of the clerk of the session ended the matter without 
debate. 



learned from him that the British officers were to attend 
a ball there that night. Leaving his prisoner at the 
boat in charge of two of his men, Badger proceeded 
into town with his other man, intending to take an offi- 
cer a prisoner. His attendant was well acquainted with 
the locality, and while in the dark watching near the 
house occupied for officers' quarters, they observed a 
young officer come out in full ball dress. They sprang 
upou him ere he was aware of their presence, and with 
presented pistols compelled him to go with them in 
silence. When they reached the boat a bolder idea was 
conceived by Badger ; being of the same size as his pris- 
oner, he ordered the latter to change dress with him, 
and determined, under the mask of a British uniform, 
to attend the ball and gather what information he could 
from conversation with those present. The circumstance 



38 INTRODUCTION. 

One of the leading traits in his character was his. 
self-abnegation. He would dash off a poem as 
natural and easy flowing as the springs from his 
native hills, and send it to some friend with a 
prose apology asking him to correct an}' blunder he 
might find in it, when, in fact, many of the effu- 
sions of a poet laureate of England when placed 
beside it would grate on the ear of the tasteful 
reader like the filing of a saw. 

He was a man of good address and commanding 
presence, and while genial and affable, and ready 
in conversation, no one would assume to address 
him with disrespect. He was the man for an emer- 
gency, when a cool head applies general principles 
to the logic of events and reaches a safe conclusion. 

The Rustic Bard was as certain to be found at 
the Presbyterian meeting as the day came. If by 
accident there was no minister in attendance, he 



that many of the officers present had newly arrived, and 
were strangers to each other, favored his plan. He 
obtained from their conversation such intelligence as he 
desired, the most important item of which was, that Sir 
Guy Carlton did not intend to advance toward Crown 
Point the present season, but to return into winter quar- 
ters in Canada. Lieutenant Badger danced as long as 
he pleased, and then retired to his boat, released the 
Canadian, and with his military prisoner returned to 
camp. The officer thus captured would give no infor- 
mation of course, but Badger had learned all his 
General desired, and consequently he dismissed several 
regiments to reinforce General Washington and contrib- 
ute their aid at Trenton and Princeton. On the second 
day's march from Saratoga to Boston Badger acciden- 
tally came in the vicinity of his former prisoner, the 
young British officer, who was so overjoyed at the sight 
among his captors of any face he had before seen, that 
he embraced Badger with the affection of a brother."' 
(See Life of Gen. John Stark.) 



INTRODUCTION. 39 

would open the service with an appropriate reading 
of Scripture and an extemporaneous prayer. He 
read a hymn with great good taste, and if for any 
reason the chorister was not present, he was equal to 
the occasion, and would act as leader in the service 
of song, and would follow by reading a sermon by 
some eminent divine which had been considered 
worth preserving in print. He uniformly rode to 
meetiug in the " one hoss shay," and as invariably 
had "ma'm" (as he alwa} T s called Mary, his second 
wife) with him ; she was, like himself, large and 
portly. He rode up to the west end door of the 
meeting-house, that being nearest his pew in the 
old church, stopped the horse, that was uniformly a 
good-sized gentle bay, and sat in the chaise for 
" ma'm" to back out, which she as uniformly did, 
as do courtiers in the old world retire from the 
presence of royalty. Once I remember the good 
woman caught her foot or dress on the footstep of 
the chaise and, losing her centre of gravity, thereby 
fell over backwards on the ground. The fall con- 
fused her brain and she did not rise immediately ; 
her husband did not dare to drop the lines for 
fear the horse might injure his wife, and he called 
for aid. 

It was a common occurrence for him to have a 
religious meeting appointed by the minister on Sun- 
day to be held that evening at the schoolhouse in 
his school district, at which he would attend and 
conduct the service, A hymn written by a born 
poet would be read by him, and a choice tune 
selected to give expression to the words, struck at 
once by himself, in which the voices of the singers 
present would blend in fitting harmony like the 
music of the spheres, and the young and the old 
would at the close of the service join in exclaim 
" that it was good to be there." 



40 INTRODUCTION. 

Domestic Relations. 

Moses, in his hitherto matchless account of the 
creation, tells us that when the Creator had made 
man, and divers other, the work of His power, he 
said: "It is not good that man should be alone, 
I will make a helpmeet for him." The universal 
acclaim of mankind has been that the Creator in 
that regard made no mistake. 

No Biographer of Socrates has considered his 
work finished without telling us of Xanthippe, and 
if by precedent the story of a philosopher's life 
who had a virago for a wife would be incomplete 
with that character left out, assuredly it would be 
inexcusable in the writer if he failed to mention the 
two most loving and amiable women that blessed 
the poet's life. 

He married Mary Park, the daughter of Deacon 
Robert and Jane (Weare) Park, whom he had 
known from infancy, for his first wife. Both her 
parents were Scotch-Irish. Her father had come 
to this country when 12 years of age with his 
father, Alexander Park, who, after some years 
spent in searching for a home in this new country, 
settled in the then, as now, beautiful Range in 
Windham, where the farms extend from Cobbit's 
pond to the Policy (now Canobie lake), — and the 
son Robert settled on the next farm east of hjs 
father, which has been owned and occupied by his 
lineal descendants of the same name from 1739 to 
the present day (1897). Her father was a marked 
man in the church and in the town. Her mother 
was a daughter of one of those families of Scotch- 
Irish who settled in Londonderry, N. H., and made 
the reputation for intelligence, integrity, and the 
thrift that follows economy and industry, which has 
made the namesake and its people worthy of the 



INTRODUCTION. 41 

heroic renown of its original in Ireland, and is 
sufficient warrant that the Bard exercised good 
taste and judgment in his selection. She was the 
mother of all his children, and departed this life, 
leaving him two sons and nine daughters. In all 
his after life he spoke of her with the affection of 
a loving and affectionate husband. 

With this large family, the eldest but 16 years of 
age, the demand on him to supply a step-mother 
was imperative, but the task that would stare a 
woman in the face would seem to be appalling. 
But the Rustic Bard had met emergencies before 
and had always found his resources equal to the 
task assigned. His wide acquaintance and well- 
known character made his "stock in trade" on 
that occasion, and with poetic tact he induced Mary 
(Davidson) Anderson, then recently the widow of 
Samuel Anderson, to assume the trying position of 
second wife to the leading man in the church, with 
a wide social acquaintance to be maintained, the 
cares of a farmer's life to be provided for, and a 
family of eleven children, in age ranging from 
seventeen years, the eldest, to less than two years, 
the youngest. 

The slight mention of her made by the Bard in 
the first edition of his poems is the modest, unas- 
suming characteristic of the man. But the writer, 
having had the pleasure of a boy's unannounced 
inspection in his family for years, well remembers 
that his relations with her were most cordial and 
endearing, and that by her sweet influence she made 
to him all that is implied in that beloved word — 
home. 

In his children he was blessed, as he deserved to 
he, by being loved and honored by each, and what 
was better to him, by the knowledge that each, in the 



42 INTRODUCTION. 

place assigned, had reflected credit on their ances- 
tors and set an example worthy of imitation by 
their posterity. 

Sickness and Death. 

The Rustic Bard had been uniformly in good 
health for many years previous to his last sickness 
in March, 1836. He has given in his poems, in his- 
own inimitable manner, an account of the sickness 
that befell him prior thereto, and he retained his 
mental vigor unabated till his last sickness which 
lasted but a few days. He was then seized with a 
violent attack of pneumonia, which refused to yield 
to the mild persuasion of all the means at the com- 
mand of his family, friends, neighbors, and the 
doctor, and it was soon apparent to him that the 
inevitable had come, and with a calm, unfaltering 
trust in that God he had so loug loved and served, 
he passed away March 16, 1836, like one 

' ' Who wraps the drapery of his couch about him 
And lies down to pleasant dreams." 

And now gentle reader, begging your pardon for 
having fallen into the habit of the temporary Chair- 
man, who detains an impatient audience by a some- 
what rambling introduction of the speaker that is to 
follow him, in order that by contrast they may the 
more keenly relish the good things that will follow 
— I bow my adieu. 

JAMES DINSMOOR. 

Sterling, III. 



POEMS OF 
ROBERT DINSMOOR, 

THE "RUSTIC BARD." 



JAMIE COCHRAN: THE INDIAN CAPTIVE* 



Give ear, my friends, and let me here relate 
A tale which now appears of ancient date. 
The hero of my tale is Indian Jamie, 
His history I'll give lest you should blame me. 
In Ulster Province, Erin's northern strand, 
Five shiploads joined to leave that far off land. 
They had their ministers to pray and preach, 
These twenty families embarked in each. 
Here I would note and have it understood, 
Those emigrants were not Hibernian blood, 
But sturdy Scotsmen true, whose fathers fled 
From Argyleshire, where protestants had bled 
In days of Stuart Charles and James second, 
Where persecution was a virtue reckoned. 
They found a shelter on the Irish shore 
In Ulster, not a century before. 
Four of those ships at Boston harbor landed ; 
The fifth, by chance, at Casco bay was stranded. 



*A tale of 1728; occurrences of 170 years ago, and 
narrated by the "Rustic Bard" Feb. 28, 1833, 105 years 
after they took place. 



44 JAMIE COCHRAN : THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 

But there those stout old Scotsmen knelt and sang 
Jehovah's praise till sea and desert rang. 
There they gave up, in one united prayer, 
Themselves and children to th' Almighty's care. 
In seventeen hundred eighteen, August fourth, 
Our ancestors received their freedom's birth. 
Some came to Nutfield, since called Londonderry, 
The others chose just where they were to tarry. 
And one of them was of the Cochran name, 
Of uo small note, who with those settlers came. 
On the main land this father settled down, 
The place is now called Brunswick of renown. 
From Bowdoin college, a few rods is seen 
The caved-in cellar where his house had been. 
Where famed McKeen* his pupils led, 
And by his lore profound made science spread. 
The Cochran's eldest son was James, 
But eight years old, which now our notice claims. 
When Jamie's blood had felt the heat 
Of sixteen summers, high his pulses beat. 
He then from bears could guard his father's corn, 
Armed with his gun, shot-bag, and powder horn. 
The howling wolf that he was wont to hear 
And catamount made music to his ear. 



* Rev. Joseph McKeen, D. D., of Londonderry, N. H., 
an old schoolmaster of Robert Dinsmoor, as early as 
1775 (see "The Sleepy Shepherd"), who first presided as 
President over Bowdoin College, at Brunswick, Maine, 
w 7 hich stood only a few rods from " the caved-in cellar" 
of the old Cochran home of 1728. 



JAMIE COCHRAN : THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 45 

The sly marauding bear at dead of night 
Came like a thief who likes to shun the light ; 
The thrifty hills he levelled with his paw, 
Then stretching down, soon filled his hungry maw. 
Jamie discerned the beast, as moping there, 
He hobbled off to loiter in his den. 
His proper course not far from Jamie led, 
Whose gun was leveled at the felon's head, 
Then sprung the lock his father oft had fired ; 
The shot was fatal, and the thief expired. 
As deeds of valor add to courage strength, 
So this young hero proved it out at length. 
Like that young Hebrew stripling, when he slew 
A bear and lion — more courageous grew 
And fearless, fought and killed Goliah too. 
When stretched upon his bed of straw 
He, in his dream, an awful vision saw : 
A forest wild, extending far and wide, 
Where beasts of all descriptions seek to hide ; 
And now and then upon his ear there fell 
A shriek terrific and a hideous yell. 
But all at once, to close the scene, 
A fiend, like man of dark and ghastly mien, 
Armed with a hatchet, and a kuife and gun, 
Ten more, armed like him, followed on the run. 
Swiftly they sped their way, and passed him by,, 
But oh ! Alas ! he heard an infant cry. 
Horror now seized our youth, and in his dream 
He surely thought he heard his mother scream. 
Her bitter cries he could distinctly hear, 



46 JAMIE COCHRAN: THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 

" My Jamie's lost, my Jamie's lost, I fear." 
At this he woke, for all did real seem, 
And found the whole a fleeting dream. 
Then to their labor all by order went, 
But Jamie was on special errand sent, 
O'er hills and fens he ne'er had seen before, 
With musket armed and ammunition store ; 
His mother placed a knapsack on his back, 
With things convenient, not a cumbrous pack. 
He through the marshes sought his destined creek 
Of which he'd heard the Indian hunters speak. 
At leugth he found the little rolling river, 
Which, when he forded, scarcely made him shiver, 
And soon Magusit bay began to quiver. 
A flock of ducks, through the thick air above, 
With whistling wings, all lighted in a cove 
Within short distance ; Jamie cocked his gun 
And made towards his game upon the run. 
His fire was true, and plainly he could tell 
Some lay dead, and others wounded fell. 
He left his musket on the shore, 
His powder horn, shot-bag, and all his store ; 
With ducks and drakes his knapsack soon was 

filled, 
No matter then, how many he had killed. 
With success flushed he turned toward the shore 
And lo ! he saw an armed Sagamore 
Take up his gun, powder horn, and shot ; 
Ten Indian warriors stood there on the spot. 
Our hero, now advancing near the shore, 



JAMIE COCHRAN: THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 47 

Could recognize the ancient Sagamore, 

The very phiz he'd often seen before 

When hunger drove him to his father's door. 

James reverently approached him from the strand, 

Bowed, called him father, offered him his hand, 

And humbly asked him to give back his gun. 

He frowned ; "Me no your father, you no be my 

son." 
In vain he plead, and urged his parent's sorrow, 
Said he'd go back, and come again tomorrow. 
" No, me no trust you," was the short reply, 
" You no come back, you white men all will lie. 
You shoot our bears, the Indians want their 

grease, 
You shoot our ducks, and carry off our geese ; 
You kill our moose and deer, no heed our 

speeches, 
Eat up their flesh and wear their skins for 

breeches ; 
You take our fish, and carry off our clams, 
Indian no cross great water to catch your lambs ; 
You no be here again, you great pappoose, 
To shoot our ducks and carry off our goose, 
You be our captive now, yourself the cause, 
Your life be forfeit, by our Indian laws ; 
We take you Canada*, and there you sell, 



* The Indians, often took the colonists to the French in 
Canada, who would buy the captives, or pay for the 
scalps of the English colonists, as France was often at 
war with England. 



48 JAMIE COCHRAN : THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 

But we no know, your scalp may do as well." 
Our hero, fixed as Indian captives are 
Whom they take prisoners in a time of war, 
Was placed between two warriors armed as guard,. 
Who both seemed proud that they this honor 

shared. 
The old grey Sachem, Tested with command, 
Gave order, "March to Canada," off hand, 
But bade all " steer for the great waterfall, 
For at the Wigwam there we all must call, 
Who knows but there we'll have more English 

boys 
To make us rich and to increase our joys." 
Now Jamie tried his masters to obey, 
Nor made the least attempt to run away. 
He seemed to place his life in their protection, 
And by hypocrisy gained their affection. 
As they grew intimate, he seemed contented ; 
They lived like brothers when they got acquainted. 
But, faithful to their charge, kept him in sight, 
And made him sleep between them every night. 
Such confidence they in their prisoner put, 
He access had to all within their hut ; 
To keep their guns and ammunition dry, 
He careful was to set or lay them by. 
And Jamie's mind absorbed in deep reflection, 
Besought his father's God for his protection. 
And then he thought on his prophetic dream, 
Where, ominous, he heard his mother scream ; 
In desert wild, of all his friends forsaken, 



JAMIE COCHRAN : THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 49 

He was the infant that was taken. 

Like bees attracted to their wonted hive, 

Straight as a line they to their hut arrive. 

They gathered sticks and soon struck up a fire, 

And fixed the wigwam as they did desire. 

But Jamie's mind on his escape was bent, 

That to accomplish was his whole intent. 

While here and there the busy Indians run, 

They mind him not, till he secures each gun ; 

And while he did their other weapons hide 

He placed a hatchet slyly by his side. 

It was his part to give the fire fuel, 

Nor did they think that Jamie's heart was cruel. 

What Sachem told him he remembered still, 

" We take you Canada, and there you sell, 

But we no know, your scalp may do as well." 

" My God," said Jamie, " must this be my doom 

Unless that I an awful act assume ? 

I am compelled the adage old to try, 

' To desperate cases, desperate means apply.* 

The hour is come, defeuseless now they lie, 

The blows I strike must kill them or I die." 

When rising up to give the fatal stroke, 

By accident a small dry stick he broke. 

And when it snapped, one of the Indians woke, 

And asked him, what he wanted. Jamie said, 

'*' The fire wants fuel " ; the stick he on it laid, 

Then down he laid as if to rest the better. 

The Indian thought that nothing was the matter, 

And fell asleep more soundly than before, 



50 JAMIE COCHRAN: THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 

And soon they both began to wheeze and snore. 
Again he rose while they were sleeping sound, 
And at one blow killed one upon the ground ; 
Then for the other drew a stroke far bolder, 
But missed his head, and hit him on the shoulder. 
The Indian then arising to his feet 
In fearful rage did Jamie's hatchet meet, 
Which soon dispatched him, there he fell 
Nor knew not then who hurt him nor could tell. 
Our hero then soon left this dire abode 
And frantic ran some miles, nor sought a road ; 
How far he'd gotten from the Indian hut, 
He could not tell, as he was light of foot. 
His mind, still frenzied, sometimes reasoned well ; 
He said, '• I die, sure as those Indians fell, 
I cannot live, deprived of all subisteDce, 
What means have I to keep me in existence ? 
What have I gained, if I must die of hunger? 
I must go back, I'll think upon't no longer. 
There's guns and hatchets, and some good pro- 
vision 
Placed in my knapsack, with some ammunition." 
Then back he went, as fast as he could go, 
And found some light, although the fire was low, 
He roused it up. There the two Indians lay ; 
He scalped them both, and bore their spoil away. 
A load for him packed up as Indians do, 
And homeward then he did his course pursue. 
But a small river running cross his way 
Caused him to stop and make a short delay. 



JAMIE COCHRAN : THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 51 

Then on the river's brink he soon espied 

A tall slim pine, to which he soon applied 

The Indian's hatchet to its body well, 

Full soon the tree across the water fell. 

With cautious hands and feet on it he crossed, 

But there by chance an Indian gun he lost. 

He marked the place it in the water fell, 

Went back and got it, some the story tell. 

But scarcely had he gotten safely o'er 

He saw the Indians on the other shore. 

The forest hid him from their savage sight, 

And they despaired to catch him in the night. 

Soon Jamie found the Androscoggin's tide*, 

Which led him, safely as a faithful guide, 

To George's fortf , near which his father dwelt, 

And oh ! what joy to see't our hero felt. 

But when he hailed it, this poor Scottish boy 

Was taken for an Indian false decoy. 

In quest of food, he had no need to roam, 

His pack supplied him to his father's home, 

Where parents mourned as dead their favorite boy. 

There they embraced him with ecstatic joy. 



* Androscoggin river. 

f St. George's Fort was built in 1719-20, at the elbow, 
on the easterly edge of St. George's river. This was at 
Thomaston, Me., near the spot occupied later by the 
house of Major-General Knox, of Revolutionary fame, 
and in 1897 by the railroad station of the Knox and 
Lincoln Railway. (See fuller account in the Introduc- 
tion.) 



52 JAMIE COCHRAN: THE INDIAN CAPTVIE. 

Gladly they saw the trophies he had won, 
While he returned the knapsack and the gun. 
The Indian scalps proved Jamie's victory grand, 
As did Goliah's head in David's hand. 



53 



EVENTS OF THE BARD'S SCHOOL-DAYS, OF 
ABOUT 1766, MORE THAN 130 YEARS AGO*. 



Dear Cousin Molly, fondly I 
Past scenes to recollect would try, 
That give me oft a watery eye, 

"Well known to you. 
Sometimes I laugh, and sometimes cry, 

At this review. 

No doubt you can remember yet, 
In Smiley's house, we scholars met ; 
With partial choice, ourselves we set, 

No matter whither. 
Our writing boardsf and books we'd get, 

And tent together! . 



* Robert Dinsmoor's letter to Mrs. Mary Ladd. Before 
marriage she was Mary Park, dau. of Joseph and Mary 
(Boyd) Park 2 , of Windham, 1ST. H. She was grand- 
daughter of Alexander Park 1 and his wife Margaret 
Waugh, the Scotch-blooded emigrants, who came from 
the County of Antrim, Ireland, in the winter of 1728-9. 
She was the granddaughter of Robert Boyd of London- 
derry and his wife, Mary McKeen. The latter was a 
daughter of Justice McKeen of Londonderry, N". H., 
and was sister of Jennie McKeen, wife of Capt. John 
Cochran of Windham. They were the grandparents of 
the "Rustic Bard." (See footnote " To the Sleepy Shep- 
herd.") Mrs. Ladd was born in Windham, Feb. 22, 1756 ; 



5.4 THE BARD'S SCHOOL-DAYS. 

When to the school I first was sent§, 

My sister Jenny with me went. 

Not woods, not dangers, could prevent. 

Nor wolf, nor bear. 
To risk my life 1 was content, 

For Poll || was there. 

A purblind soldier Nicholas Sause^T, 
An old Hibernian master was, 
^Yho taught us by Britauick laws ; 

A tyrant he. 
He'd punish for a trivial cause, 

E'en he, or she ! 



married May 13, 1778, Eliphalet Ladd, who lived where 
George W. Noyes lives in 1897. Lived in town till 1802, 
in Salem, N. H., from 1S02-1806, then removed to Mere- 
dith Village. N. H., where she lived till her death there, 
Nov. 26, 1824. Between 1766 and 1771 she and the Bard 
were youthful scholars of Master Sause, in the house of 
Francis Smiley, which stood on the opposite side of the 
highway from the brick house, which in 1897 stands on 
the same farm in the Range ; lately owned by Isaiah 
Dinsmoor, a grandson of the Bard. The events narrated 
in the poem occurred more than a century and thirty 
years ago. 

t A board placed upon the knee on which they learned 
to write. 

X Dip our pens in the same inkstand. 

§ The last of the year 1766, or the first of 1767. 

j| Molly Park, whom he afterwards married, and own 
cousin of Mrs. Ladd, and bore the same name, and lived 
in the same household. The latter, after her father's 
death, w T as brought up in her uncle Robert Park's family. 

f A British soldier discharged at the close of the 
French and Indian war. 



THE BARD'S SCHOOL-DAYS. 55 

Bill Gordon, he was there, and Peg, 

His great mouth Sause oft feigned to gag. 

And then when he would roar and beg, 

Perhaps he'd clog him* ; 
And tie a string about his leg 

And horsed and flog him ! 

Poor little Polly then would cry, 
For safety she to you would fly, 
She thought poor Gordon sure must die ; 

An awful sight ! 
With pain I've heard her sob and sigh, 

For such a fright. 

No creature ever yet was seen, 
More happy than myself have been, 
When two Park girls I'd get between 

To write or spell. 
At noon we'd sport about the green, 

And stories tell. 

If in a shade we took a seat, 

Then like a sage I would relate, 

When your mam' was my mother's mate, 

A foe did watch them ; 
They at wool-breakiugj stayed so late, 

A wolf did catch them ! 



* This was done by tying him to a piece of wood; an 
easy punishment, but disgraceful. 



56 THE BARD'S SCHOOL-DAYS. 

As they were walking arm in arm, 
At back of Jamison's§ old barn 
A creature then gave them alarm, 

A dreadful fright ! 
The savage beast was bent on harm, 

That time of night. 

Both, young and timid, off they sheer; 
It took advantage of their fear, 
And to'arcls them rapidly did steer, 

Naught could be bolder ! 
Although the Range || boys all were near, 

It seized mam's shoulder ! 

They ran and shriek'd with hideous yell ! 
As I have heard my mother tell, 
'Till down your mammie lifeless fell ! 

The beast, mam' lug'd it, 
And when it bade your mam' farewell, 

Her gown, it tug'd it ! 



f The culprit was placed upon the back of some of 
the boys, while the master would strip and birch him 
severely. 

X When any woman undertook to make a new woolen 
web, it was the custom to invite all the young girls in 
the neighborhood to help teaze, mix, and give it the first 
carding. This was called a web-breaking, or a wool- 
breaking, and the young lads generally attended to 
sport with the lassies awhile after the work was done, 
and to escort them home. 

§ William Jamison's, a mile north of the northern end 
of " the Range," in East Windham, a few rods north of 



THE BARD'S SCHOOL-DAYS. 57 

And then again I would begin 

And tell how fine your mam' could spin, 

And how my grandsire took her in 

An orphan poor. 
How near our grandmas were akin, 

Two sisters sure. 

Alone I oft have visits paid 

That lovely grove, through which we stray'd, 

And view'd the trees 'round which we play'd 

"Hind most of three." 
My heart was always joyful made 

When Poll caught me. 

Oft I review that sacred spot, 
Where ruin'd school-house ashes rot, 
And with devotion move my hat 

And raise my head ; 
*' Those friends with whom I here have sat, 

Where are they fled ? " 

Thou darling ! once my bride, 

My children's mother and my pride, 

Alas ! thou in my presence died, 

I weep for you ! 
Behold my daughter by your side, 

In ashes too ! 



the Manchester and Lawrence R. R., the farm widely 
known as the James B. VVhittaker farm. 

|| Meaning those boys whose homes were on that Range 
of farms, two miles in length, lying between Canobie 
lake and Cobbett's pond. 



58 THE BARD'S SCHOOL-DAYS. 

My wild enthusiastic pain 

I check, and dry my eyes again ; 

Why should a living man complain 

At justice now? 
The Lord in righteousness shall reign, 

And I must bow. 

Then let our sighs and sorrows cease, 
The Gospel gives our spirits ease ; 
By faith we look on things like these 

And God adore ! 
We trust our friends shall rise in peace, 

To die no more ! 



59 



SKIP'S LAST ADVICE* 



At your request, kiud sir, I send it, 
Skip's last advice — I long since penn'd it 

In honor to Ms name. 
He was a dog of noble spirit, 
Possessing talents, worth and merit, 

And died in honest fame. 

The rational creation may 

Learn wisdom from the brute — 
Profound instruction they convey, 

Sometimes in language mute. 
Take heed thou, and read thou 

This moral from my page, 
And see now, with me now, 

A base degenerate age. 



♦Written Feb. 25, 1774, in the 17th year of the author's 
age, about his father's favorite old dog, who had survived 
his 15th year. It was sent with the above note to 
William Dinsmoor, of Boston, Mass , the Bard's cousin, 
who had requested a copy of it. 



60 SKIP'S LAST ADVICE. 



INTRODUCTION. 

This poor auld dog liv'd mony a year, 

But now he did begin to fear 

That death about the doors was creepin', 

To whip him off when he was sleepin' ; 

For now he was baith deaf an' dumb, 

An' cou'na hear when death wad come. 

When he was young, baith spry an' nimble, 

The fear o' beasts ne'er made him tremble ; 

He try'd to keep the corn frae bears, 

An' help'd us ay to sing our prayers ; 

But now his teeth were a'worn out, 

An' him grown weak instead of stout, 

He cou'dna sing he was sae weak, 

An' I took pity for his sake. 

He turn'd his een to me inviting, 

And sign'd to me to do his writing ; 

I took the hint, an' gat my pen, 

But what to write I knew not then. 

I by acquaintance knew him well, 

An' by his looks his thoughts could tell, 

What he advis'd, I to befriend'm, 

In Scottish rhyme have rightly pen'd'em — 

From those who want to hear these lines, 

I crave th' attention o' their minds : — 



SKIP'S LAST ADVICE. 61 

Tent weel ! for 'tis Skip's last advice ! 

He warns ye a' now to be wise ; 

Take heed, for he'll no tell you't twice, 

For now he's gawin' 
To lea' the filthy fleas and lice, 

That us'd to gnaw'im 

After breakfast he lay down ; 
Quoth he, "I fear I shall die soon, 
Because I canna sing my tune 

I us'd to sing, 
Till a' the hills and vallies round 

Like bells wad ring. 

"Hear me a' sizes o' my kind, 

Baith young an' auld, keep this in mind, 

An' hearken to what I've design'd 

Now to advise ye : 
Be guid, an' they'll be hard to find, 

That will despise ye. 

" Do a' you're able for your bluid, 
And forward a' your masters' guid — 
You ought to do't since you're allow'd 

To serve mankind ; 
The best that e'er on four feet stood, 

This law shall find. 

" Let generations yet to breed, 

Keep mind o' this, when we are dead ! 



62 SKIP'S LAST ADVICE. 

I'm gaun the gate alack wi' speed, 

O' a' the earth ! 
Wow ! but they're simpletons indeed 

Wha live in mirth. 

"Don't you like those your guid time spend, 
But ay think on your latter end ; 
If you've done ill, try to amend, 

An' gi'e ay praise, 
An' thank the Ane wha did you send 

Sae mony days. 

u Though like a lord man o'er ye rules, 
An' bang ye round wi' chairs an' stools, 
An' bruise ye wi' the auld pot buils, 

Mind not their powers — 
Their bodies maun gang to the mools, 

As weel as ours. 

" Now ere I quat, I'll ask ye a', 
If deacons this a fau't can ca', 
An' for the same hoist me awa' 

Unto the Session, 
An' gar me satisfy their law 

For my transgression? 

" G-if ye say na, then I'll believ't, 
An' never let mysel' be griev't, 
Nor o' my rest at night bereav't, 
Nor be concern'd ; 



SKIP'S LAST ADVICE. 63 

But say it is a lesson priev't, 
Ay to be learn'd. 

" I maun hae done, farewell, adieu ! 
Farewell to Master Billy too, 
I hae na breath to name enou ; 

Death's come to plunder — 
He's taken me for ane T trow, 

Sae I knock under." 

Ae spasm caus'd a deadly groan ! 
He clos'd his glimm'ring een alane 
An' heaving neither sigh nor mane 

In silence deep ! 
Syne without sense or seeming pain, 

He fell asleep ! 



64 THE SLEEPY SHEPHERD. 



TO THE SLEEPY SHEPHERD*. FEB. 11, 1775. 



'Tis bad I true, for one like you, 

Who are appointed master, 
To fall asleep, and have your sheep 

Within a worthless pasture. 
The lambs do stray, and stroll away, 

To foxes prey become ; 
Their mothers bleat, and others greet, 

While some of them sit dumb. 
The shepherd good will give his blood, 

His flock well to maintain ; 
But he that's bad will not be sad 

When they're destroyed or slain. 



♦Joseph McKeen was "The Sleepy Shepherd." For 
the MeKeen family, see Appendix. 



REVOLUTIONARY LETTER. 65 



REVOLUTIONARY LETTER. 



The three following letters, dated at Medford, 
Mass., were written by Robert Dinsmoor to his 
parents the first winter of the Revolutionary War. 
He says : "I was an early friend to our Revolution 
and Independence, a true Whig ; and had the honor 
of being a soldier in the American army under the 
illustrious Washington. I w r ish to preserve the 
letters for antiquity's sake " : 

Medford, Mass., Dec br 20 th , 1775. 

My dear father : 

In the first place I am well, for which I have 
reason to thank that God who hath hitherto pre- 
served me. The Regulars fired last Sunday night 
from Bunker's hill to Leechmore's point at our men 
who were entrenching there, and some few bombs 
came from Boston to them, but they did but little 
damage, only wounded two men and killed one ox. 
Capt. Gilmore's* company was there, and as Uncle 
Robin Dinsmoor was wheeling a Barrow load of 
Sods, a cannon ball came along, and split an apple 



* Capt. James Gilmore of Windham, N. H. Full 
sketch, page 535, in History of Windham. 



66 REVOLUTIONARY LETTER. 

tree close by his side, but did not hurt him. Some 
cannon were fired from Cobble-hill which made 
the Hornet's-nest* remove from Leechmore's point. 
Our company has been upon uo duty yet, but ten 
of them are called upon to go upon the Piquet 
guard tomorrow at Plow'd hill. I have told you 
considerable, and must conclude, from want of 
paper. But I must not forget Lieut. Gregg desires 
in a particular manner to be remembered to both 
you and my mother and to my sweetheart, if I 
have any — and so do all the Officers — give my 
respects to all my friends, especially to those who 
thought worth while to come a piece with us. Let 
Master McKeenf know I do not forget him. Re- 
member me by all means to my ancient Grandfather 
and Grandmother. I must conclude with sincere 
love to you, my Mother, Sisters and Brothers. 
Your dutiful and affectionate son, 

Robert Dinsmoor. 
Ens 11 William Dinsmoor. 

P. S. I am in the mess with the Officers the 
same as I was at the Great Island J. 



* A British frigate. 

t Afterwards the President of Bowdoin College. 

X At Portsmouth. 



REVOLUTIONARY LETTER. 67 

Medford, Jan. 2 1Kl 1776. 

Honoured and Dear father : 

I enjoy perfect health at present, Thanks be to a 
kind Providence. I have nothing strange to write 
to you, except that orders are this minute come 
from the Gen 1 that our company shall be freed 
from other duty, to go and chop wood for the 
Army about half a mile from our Barracks — when 
we are cold ! I sent a letter to you by Col 1 Moore. 
We are stationed in a Brick house about half a mile 
down the river from the Town. This minute Abra- 
ham Plunkett* came in with fifteen letters, which 
revives my spirits. I am sorry that you had so 
much trouble with your letters — and Jonny says 
Col Moore carried my letters to Derry which he 
promised to leave at Capt. Gilmore's. I am glad 
you are all well ; let Mother know that I received 
her letter very joyfully. I have gotten but one 
letter from you since I came here. Last Friday 
night Gen 1 Sullivan gave orders to his under officers 
to enlist a party of volunteers, such as were willing 
to make a push at Bunker's hill, and burn a number 
of houses on Charlestown neck ; accordingly Capt. 
Reynolds and Lieut Gregg and 21 members of our 
company went with Arms and Ammunition. The 
whole number that went was about three thousand, 
provided with matches to set the houses on fire, and 

* A soldier from Windham, 1ST. H. 



68 REVOLUTIONARY LETTER. 

spears to scale the walls. They intended to go 
over on the ice, but the channel being open, they 
were frustrated in their design. We were all 
paraded on Winter hill, in order to run to their 
assistance as soon as the first gun was fired. But 
the statement that any of them fell through the 
ice is false. I hear that my sisters have made a 
visit to Uncle Nesmith's folks in Kenady*. I hope 
they are well. We have plenty of provisions. 
I am, your affectionate son, 

Robert Dinsmoor. 
To Eus 11 William Dinsmoor. 



To Ens n William Dinsmoor, Windham, Newhamp- 

shire : 

Medford, Jan. 19 th 1776. 
My clear father : 

As Col 1 Greggt is going past your house, I can- 
not think of letting this opportunity pass without 
writing. No doubt you have heard of our Army 



* The northwest part of Londonderry. 

f Capt. James Gregg, of Macosquin County, of Lon- 
donderry, Ireland, one of the first sixteen settlers of 
Londonderry, N. H , in 1719, was a Scotchman born in 
Ayrshire, Scotland, and emigrated with his parents to 
Ireland about the time of the siege of Derry — or a little 
after — and became what is usually called, not an Irish- 
man, but a Scotch Irishman. He married Janet Cargil ; 



REVOLUTIONARY LETTER. 69 

being defeated at Canada, and all that went from 
here are either taken or killed — the thoughts of 
which seems to dampen the spirits of the most 
Stout hearted among us. 

John Hunter came from Derry yesterday and said 
he overtook you on Spicket-bridgej on Saturday 
about eleven o'clock at night. 

I remain your loving son, 

Robert Dinsmoor. 

Gen. Sullivan had made a special request that 
the militia men, as they were called, from New 
Hampshire should continue in the service one fort- 
night after their first term was out — and the most 
of Capt. Reynold's Company agreed to tarry, among 
whom was Robert Dinsmoor. Jan. 19, 1776, in 
regard to this, in a letter to his mother, he says : 

" Had I attempted to return, 
In dishonor and disgrace, 



was a brother-in-law of Rev. James McGregor of Agha- 
dowey, Comity of Londonderry, Ireland, and of Justice 
James McKeen of Ballymoney, Ireland, and united with 
them in forwarding the enterprise to Londonderry, 
N. H., where he became a Scotch-Irish-American, not an 
American-Irish-Scotchman. Capt John Gregg, his son, 
came to Londonderry with his father when about 16 
years old. He married Agnes Rankin. One of their 
sons was Col. William Gregg of Revolutionary fame. 
He was born in Londonderry, N. H., Oct. 23, 1730, and 
rendered valiant service in the Revolution. He died in 
his native town Sept. 16, 1815, aged 85 yrs. 
X In Salem, N. H. 



70 REVOLUTIONARY LETTER. 

My clearest friends would always scorn 
And hate to see my face ; 

But when these twelve days are all out 
We'll swing our packs so merry, 

Aud then set out, with hearts so stout 
And steer our course to Deny." 



TO MRS. JAMES COCHRAN. 71 



A PUZZLE IN RELATIONSHIP* 



My cousin dear, my uncle's wife, 

Explain this misty point to me, 
I cannot tell to save my life, 

What our relationship may be : 
My cousin, yet my aunt you're stil'd, 

I am, which seems a sin to be, 
Your uncle's son. your sister's child ; 

And what are you akin to me? 



* Addressed Jan. 2, 1776, to his cousin Elizabeth, 
daughter of Capt. James and Elizabeth (McKeen) Nes- 
mith, of Londonderry, N. H., who married his uncle, 
Capt- James Cochran, of Windham, the son of Capt. 
John and Jennie (McKeen) Cochran, ancestors of the 
Cochrans of Windham, N. H. His cousin was born 
March 22, 1749 ; died April 29, 1824. Capt. James Nes- 
mith, above mentioned, was born Aug. 4, 1718, just 
before the departure of his parents from Ireland, and 
was the son of Dea. James Nesmith, one of the first 
sixteen settlers in Londonderry, N. H. The Nesmiths 
emigrated from Scotland to the valley of the River 
Bann, in Ireland. 



72 TO COUSIN MOLLY. 



LINES WHEREIN YOUNG JONNEY PRAISES 
HIS COUSIN, MOLLY; PARK* JULY 18, 1777. 



Yestre'en I heard young Jonuey say 
" O ! but I laug to see the day, 
That cousin Mally I may hae, 

To be my wife — 
That I might freely wi' her liv', 

E'en a' my life. 

She is a bonuie lass indeed, 

Au's come o' a right honest breed, 

An' weel she can baith write an' read. 

An' speaks right swash — 
To get her aff, there'll be uae need 

To gie much cash. 



* Mary Park was born July 4, 1761 ; was daughter of 
Dea. Robert and Jane (VVear) Park. Her father came 
to America when 12 years of age with Alexander Park 1 . 
His father, the emigrant, an honest man, who paid his 
last month's rent in Ireland Dec. 12, 1728, and brought 
his receipt with him, which is now a sacred relic. He 
was of Scotch blood. He came in the winter of 1728-29. 
Mary Park became the loved wife of the " Rustic Bard " 
Dec. 31, 1782. — or Jan. 1, 1783, —and died, as the Bard 
says in " 16 years and 5 months to a day," June 1, 1799, 
aged 37 yrs. ; greatly lamented by him. 



TO COUSIN MOLLY. 73 

Whene'er she enters in my sight, 
Her very presence gi'es delight, 
For ilka thing 'bout her is right, 

Her hair sae snod is — 
Her shapes by day, her words by night, 

Prooves her a goddess. 

She is right canny at her wark, 
An' thinks but little o' the daurk. 
At making hats o' smooth birch-bark, 

I'm sure she dings — 
She, brisk and bonnie as a lark, 

Melodious sings. 



74 THE BENNINGTON BATTLE. 



SONG: WINDHAM'S SONS AT THE BENNING- 
TON BATTLE, AUG. 16, 1777. TUNE, "HIGH- 
LAND MARY." 



When British laws could show no cause 

For cruel depredation, 
And armies sent, with base intent, 

To crush our infant nation ! 
New England's favored land they spy, 

And purpose to subdue it. 
Along our coasts their force apply 

And eagerly pursue it ! 

On Lake Champlain, they victr'y gain, 

Tyconderoga take it ; 
Of ev'ry fort, it was their sport, 

To make our men forsake it ! 
When Burgoyne led, the natives fled, 

And left their lov'd plantations ! 
Unarm'd they ran, both wife and man, 

Before such devastations ! 

Their grass and grain, which deck'd the plain, 

By man and horses trampled ! 
Naked and bare, drove to despair, 

By vengeance unexampled. 



THE BENNINGTON BATTLE. 75 

But Hudson's course turn'd Burgoyne's force, 

Down her fair coasts to ravage ; 
Destroying all, both great and small, 

Relentless as a savage. 

This warlike noise rous'd Hampshire's boys, 

They dropp'd their scythes and sickles, 
And favorite sons now grasp their guns, 

While female's tear-drops trickle ! 
From Windham then were sent twelve men, 

With valiant hearts and clever, 
To check their foes, with shot and blows, 

On banks of the North river. 

To Bennington our heroes run, 

But note their bold procedure ! 
With gallant Stark they all embark, 

New Hampshire's glorious leader. 
The hero spake : " No speech I make, 

Boys there's our deadly foeman, 
They'll fall our mark, or Molly Stark 

This night's a widow'd woman ! " 

Then with Burgoyne they battle join, 

There Windham men, placed in the van, 

Where deadly balls did rattle ! 
Fell John Kinkead, on grand parade, 

A soldier brave in battle. 



76 TEE BENNINGTON BATTLE. 

.Jem Wilson* stood behind some wood, 

A Windham man, true-hearted, 
Who never ran for fear of man, 

Nor left his post deserted. 
With joyful eye he saw them fly, 

Their warriors all retreating ; 
As they withdrew, Stark's men pursue, 

And fear no foeman meeting. 

'T was hard to know a friend from foe, 

In such promiscuous bustle, 
But one Jem met who him beset, 

With whom he had a tussle ! 
He fired his gun, nor thought to run, 

(His foe looked somewhat slender) ; 
The Briton brave then drew his glave, 

Said " Die, or else surrender ! " 

He choosing terms, threw down his arms, 
And begged his life's protection ; 



* Alexander Wilson 1 , of Scotch blood, was in the 
defence siege of Deny, 1688-89. Came to Londonderry, 
N. H., soon after 1719. His son, James Wilson' 2 , was 
eight years old at the time of the siege ; came to Lon- 
donderry with his father. His son, Alexander Wilson 3 , 
settled at Fessenden's mills in Windham, and married 
Jane McKeen. Their son, James Wilson 4 , the gallant 
soldier at Bennington, was born in Windham, April 24, 
1759; went to Francestovvn, N. H., about 1793. He 
married Mary Eaton. In 1815 they removed to Ohio, 
and he died in Troy, Delaware Co , that state, Sept. 10, 
1821. 



THE BENNINGTON BATTLE. 77 

Then slowly crept, and lingering stept, 

A captive in dejection. 
But soon he sprang, and round him clung, 

With arms and all belayed him, 
In deadly grasp he held him fast, 

Till our pursuers aid him. 

To save his breath, most squeezed to death, 

Aloud he called for quarter ; 
Then Jem, right glad, Mm captive led, — 

The Briton "caught a Tartar." 
Then glorious Stark cried, "Brave boys, Hark ! 

Go to your tents renowned, 
The evening lowers, and victory's ours, 

Your feats of valor's crowned." 



Here is introduced a poem from the Rustic Bard 
to welcome home Lieut. David Gregg* and fourteen 
men. The muse's voice has loug been silent, and 
patriotic verse no longer emanates from his pen ; 
the soldiers no more go forth to battle, nor hear the 
sound of war's alarms, but poet and soldiers rest,, 
and gently the sod covers them. 



* Lieut. David Gregg, born in Windham, 1ST. H., Oct. 
4, 1750, was the fifth generation in descent from Capt. 
David Gregg of Argyleshire, Scotland, an officer under 



78 SOLDIERS OF BENNINGTON BATTLE. 



LINES ADDRESSED TO LIEUT. DAVID GREGG, 
ON THE RETURN OF THE WINDHAM SOL- 
DIERS FROM BENNINGTON BATTLE, SEPT. 

26, 1777/ 



On every side I hear a cheerful sound ; 
Gladness and mirth this morning doth abound. 
I'll run and see what all this noise doth mean, 
Among the crowd that stand upon the green. 
But suddenly I'm struck with sweet surprise, 
For Welcome, welcome, welcome ! each one cries. 
And Windham's heroes in the midst I see, 
And hear a friend inquiring after me. 
I see the fathers welcome home their boys, 
Their quivering speech fulfils each other's joys. 
Here comes a mother to embrace her sons, 
But can't contain, and from their presence runs. 
And loving brothers here again do meet, 
With compliments of friendship others greet. 



Cromwell, and went to Ireland in 1655. The first men- 
tioned was son of William Gregg of Windham and his 
wife Elizabeth Kyle of Scotland. He was the grandson 
of David Gregg. The latter was son of John, and grand- 
son of Capt. David Gregg of Argyleshire, Scotland. 
The first mentioned David Gregg died in Windham, 
N. H., March 31, 1831. A distinct family from Col. 
William Gregg's. 



SOLDIERS OF BENNINGTON BATTLE. 79 

Here sweetest nymphs come in with gentle pace, 
But generous love beguiles the fairest face. 
Those youth in raptures, urged by love's command, 
Do meet the fair, and take them by the hand, 
While tears of joy do wash their ruddy cheeks, 
Which their fond heart's sweet feeling plainly 

speaks ; 
And to improve a moment of such bliss, 
They seal their joys, all in one balmy kiss. 
Old Windham rears her venerable head, 
Wak'd with the news that makes her daughters 

glad ; 
She sees her sons, and thus she does impart 
The joy and fondness of her noble heart. 
Hail martial sons, who dread no dire alarms ! 
Welcome once more — you're welcome to my arms ! 
You, to defend me, took the hostile field, 
And bravely did compel the foe to yield. 
At your return my spirits do rejoice ; 
My daughters, too, shall raise each lovely voice, 
And from each lofty hill and verdant plain 
Sing Welcome home ! to eace victorious swain ; 
And Jeun'y hill shall sound your lasting fame, 
Till Cobbett's pond re-echoes back the same. 



80 THE BENNINGTON BATTLE. 



HEROIC ODE: STARK'S VICTORIOUS BATTLE 
AT BENNINGTON, AUG. 16, 1777. TUNE,. 
"BRUCE'S ADDRESS TO HIS ARMY." 



When Burgoyne rolled his feudal car 
Down Hudson's strand, with tide of war, 
Green Mountain boys he thought to scare ; 

To Bennington he came ! 
No obstacle regarded he, 
His scattered foes before him flee, 
His vict'ry made him sure to be 

Enrobed with conquerer's fame ! 

As pride goes oft before a fall 
Destruction wails the haughty all ! 
New Hampshire at her country's call 

In gallant ranks appears. 
Commanded by a Stark were they, 
Prepared to give them Indian play ; 
His speech inspired them for the fray, 

Those hearts that knew no fears ! 

He said — collected in his might — 
"Boys, there's the enemy in sight, 
And we must beat them, or this night 
Moll Stark a widow sleeps ! " 



THE BENNINGTON BATTLE. 81 

Anon the British cannon roar. 

From tree and fence our bullets pour, 

Till all the field of battle o'er 

With blood European steeps ! 

This boasting conqueror, forced to yield, 
To glorious Stark gave up the field ! 
The clouds of night became his shield 

And desert's hideous gloom ! 
Leaving the wounded and the dead, 
To Saratoga's heights he fled, 
And waited there in fear and dread 

A more decisive doom*. 



LINES ADDRESSED TO MISS JENNIE FRENCHf. 
NOV. 16, 1778. 



What shall I say ? for we must part, 

Fate hath ordained it so ; 
Here you must leave, your friends to grieve, 

And on the seas must go. 
Yet for the best we still will hope, 

Tho' waves do seethe and foam. 



* He surrendered at Saratoga with 5700 men on the 
following Oct. 17, 1777. 

t An intimate friend, then about to be married. She 
was brought up at Capt. John Cochran's, the first settler 



82 LINES TO MISS JENNIE FRENCH. 

Such fears will seem, but like a dream, 

When 3/011 laud safe at home. 
From Windham then with honor go, 

Drive sorrow from your heart ; 
Nor sink in woe, although you know, 

All friends on earth must part. 
Bless'd may you be where e'er you go, 

May goodness you attend ; 
For this, I say, I'll ever pray, 

Who am your humble friend. 
May happiness your portion be, 

And peace be ever where you dwell. 
We wish the best, God send the rest, 

So loving friend, farewell. 

Robert Dinsmoor. 



1 



in Windham of that name, the grandfather of the "Rustic 
Bard," and who was the first owner and occupant of the 
farm, and whose homestead was near where the present 
house now stands on the same farm, now owned and 
occupied by his great-grandson, Dea. William D. Coch- 
ran. Miss French married Lt. James Hopkins, "of the 
eastward"; left Windham, and went to Union River, 
Union, Me. 



LETTER TO MASTER JOSEPH McKEEN. 83 



POETICAL LETTER TO MASTER JOSEPH 
McKEEN*. FEB. 16, 1779. 



Beloved friend and Master Joe, 

I take my pen to let yon know 
The sorrows that do me surround, 

For woes on every hand abound. 
Tho' now to my own shame I tell, 

When I would write I cannot spell ; 
When my ideas I would convey, 

I seek for words and lose the way ; 
And by the want of good inditing, 

I lose the benefit of writing. 
Because of this, my heart is vex'cl, 

My rest is broke, my mind perplex'cl ; 
But since you are so well acquainted 

With my scant lear, pray be contented. 
And kindly take this piece from me, 



*He was son of John McKeen, and grandson of Justice 
James McKeen, of Londonderry, N". H. 

When Master McKeen left Windham in 1774-5, he pre- 
sented "The Rustic Bard" with a sheet of paper (letter 
paper was a scarce and valuable article in those days) 
and earnestly requested him to fill one-half of it, and 
send it to him as a letter. In it he said "I have had a 
desire to write you these three years, but never really 
attempted it but once. I laid my head down to the fire, 
when this roasted out." 



84 LINES ADDRESSED TO MOLLY PARK. 

Though each line void of sense should be. 

When music soft does charm my soul, 
And cause aloft my thoughts to roll, 

Celestial fire then seems to warm my breast. 
! could I then some lofty strains impart, 

And smoothly pen the feelings of my heart, 
I'd show vain men a glory in this art. 



LINES PRESENTED TO MOLLY PARK, THE 
FAIR OBJECT OF THE BARD'S AFFECTION, 
HE BEING JEALOUS OF A RIVAL. FEB. 8, 

1780. 



Cheer up my heart, why art thou sad, 

Some pleasant ditty sing, 
The youthful heart with love to glad, 

Or tell the sweets of spring ; 
No pleasure now, but grief it gives, 

To count those beauties o'er, 
When lusty trees spread forth their leaves. 

Which now we see no more. 

How quickly was my heart o'erjoy'd, 

When I with pleasure view'cl, 
The apple tree blooms in its pride, 



LINES ADDRESSED TO MOLLY PARK. 85 

The fields with beauties strew'd. 
The pretty lambs sport ou the plain, 

Kids joyful skip and play, — 
The feather'd choir in lovely strains, 

Salute the rising day. 

Those verdant beauties that appeared, 

Raised transports in my breast ; 
My tender heart with love was cheer'd, 

Which passion I confess'd. 
Insensible, said I, is he 

Whom these sweets never charm ; 
I held them all as dear to me, 

And lulled them in my arms. 

But ah ! my heart its folly found, 

When my young fancy led ; 
For while my fondness did abound, 

Those balmy pleasures fled ! 
Bereav'd was I of all delight, 

When snow the valleys clad, 
Which once appeared in lustre bright ! 

In grief these words I said : — 

The foolish youth have thus believed 

All fair words to be true ; 
Who flattered thus, have been deceived ! 

E'en sol'm grieved too. 



86 LINES ADDRESSED TO MOLLY PARK. 

I'm like a deer penn'd iu a park, 
Which cloth do comfort yield ; 

I'll scale the walls, look as a lark, 
And seek some better field. 



LINES ADDRESSED TO MOLLY PARK, ON 
RETURNING A FAVOR WHICH SHE HAD 
KINDLY LENT TO HIM. JULY 24, 1782. 



Come dear sweet muse, extend thy views, 

My gratitude discover, 
To that sweet fair, to whom I bear, 

The kindness of a lover. 
In joyful lays, I'll sound the praise, 

Of that fair virtuous maid, 
Who was so free, to lend to me, 

When I did stand in need. 
For kindness free, and love to me, 

I sujely will regard thee ; 
Some future day, perhaps I may 

Be able to reward thee. 
Since your kind heart, thus could impart, 

To me, your worldly treasure ; 
May heav'n still grant, you ne'er may want. 

For plenty, peace, and pleasure. 



ACROSTIC : MARY PARK, ROBERT DINSMOOR. 87 



ACROSTIC: MARY PARK, ROBERT DINSMOOR. 



My love is like the morning fair, 

Alluring to my sight ; 
Resistless all her graces are, 

Young, beautiful, and bright ! 
Possessing still a virtuous mind, 

And innocently gay ; 
Replete with sense, to peace inclin'd, 

Keeps anxious cares away. 
Revolving suns around shall play, 

On wings aerial bring the day 
Bestows on me my wife ! 

Embraced within her arm's I'll rest, 
Renew sweet raptures in my breast, 

To bless my fleeting life ! 
Dear cords of friendship shall us bind, 

In love as strong as death ; 
Nor shall our hearts a rival find, 

So long as we have breath. 
May Heav'n approve the passion then, 

On which such friendship grew ; 
Oh ! may some faithful Angel's pen 

Record our love so true ! 



88 EPITAPH TO JOHN ARMOR. 



EPITAPH TO JOHN ARMOR* 



In youthful bloom, clown in the tomb, 

My sprightly limbs I lay ; 
And God is just, tho' 1 in dust 

Lie mould'ring in the clay. 
God holds your breath, prepare for death. 

Seek Christ without delay ; 
But ne'er forget, the awful debt 

That you must also pay. 



* The family was of Scotch blood, and early spelled 
the name Armour, the same as in Scotland. 

He was son of Dea. Gauiu Armor, and was born in 
Windham, Sept. 27, 1759 ; lived in the Range, and died 
in his young manhood Oct. 16, 1784. He married Mar- 
garet Dinsmoor June 19, 1783, a sister of the Rustic 
Bard. For her 2d husband she married Dea. Samuel 
Morison 2 . (See Morrison family in Appendix.) 



LINES ADDRESSED TO JOHN ORR. 



ROBERT DLNSMOOR TO JOHN ORR* ESQ., OF 
BEDFORD, ON RETURNING YOUNG'S NIGHT 
THOUGHTS. MARCH, 1786. 



When northern winds tempestuous blow, 
And hurl around the flakes of snow, 
I, shelter'd in my little tent, 
Perusing what your kindness lent, 
No furious blast disturbs my peace, 
While thoughts sublime my heart solace. 
Like the poor slave who strives all day, 
His cruel master to obey ; 
Who, if releas'd for half an hour, 
And that short time be in his power, 
Would to the pool, or plain, resort, 
And innocently play and sport, 
Enjoyiug freedom for a while, 
Forget his arduous task and toil ; 
So flies my heart from carking care, 
Which biuds the sordid in despair ; 
And by this pleasing pastime find, 



* John Orr was son of John Orr and Margaret Kamil, 
(perhaps Campbell) his wife, who emigrated to London- 
derry, N. H., from the North of Ireland in 1726, and 
was an own cousin to the Bard's father. He died in 
January, 1823, aged 75 years. 



90 LINES ADDRESSED TO JOHN ORR. 

It recreates my weary mind. 

To- trace tbe poet in its flight, 

From tbe dark shades of gloomy night, 

Exploring nature in her rise, 

From nought, to worlds above the skies, 

All starting forth in strict gradation, 

The wond'rous works of God's creation, 

Where ends the sight of my dim eye, 

I vainly think that there's the sky ; 

Had I a glass to help my sight, 

To view the heavenly curtain right, 

E'en that would all abortive prove, 

Since it would in proportion move. 

So proves the poet's aid to me, 

Though curiously he makes me see 

Those prospects new, and lengthen'd sight, 

Sets larger bounds to infinite ! 

Aloft upon his wing I'm tost, 

And in immensity am lost ! 

I dream awhile, and pensive pause, 

At last I'm found just where I was ! 



DEATH OF HIS BELOVED WIFE, MARY PARK. 91 



DEATH OF HIS BELOVED WIFE, MARY PARK, 
JUNE 1, 1799. 



In the Old West Kirk Cemetery, in Greenock, 
Scotland, near the beautiful Clyde, after entering 
its sacred precincts, and following a path trodden 
by countless pilgrims' feet, there rises a marble 
shaft above one, attractive in herself, whom the 
love and adoration of one man, with the magic of 
his pen, have made immortal, whose resting place 
is historic, and to which pilgrims come from every 
clime. It is the grave of Mary Campbell, the 
" Highland Mary," the loved and the lost of Robert 
Burns. About her rest representatives of the fami- 
lies of Allison, Brown, Campbell, Jameson, Mc- 
Gregor, Morrison, and Ramsay, names duplicated 
in almost every Scotch or Scotch-Irish settlement in 
the United States. On the shaft is this inscription : 

Erected 

Over the Grave of 

Highland Mary. 

1842. 

My Mary, dear departed shade, 
Where is thy home of blissful rest? 



92 DEATH OF HIS BELOVED WIFE, MARY PARK. 

Robert Dinsmoor, the ''Rustic Bard," being of 
Scotch blood, belonging to a Scotch or Scotch-Irish 
settlement, being a farmer poet, writing much 
in the dialect of the Scotch Lowlands, has been 
greatly honored by being compared to Robert 
Burns, the great poet interpreter of Scottish life, 
Scottish thought, and Scottish feeling. 

As Mary Campbell, the " Highland Mary," had 
absorbed the heart, the soul, and the deepest affec- 
tions of the Scottish poet, the beloved Mary Park, 
another lassie of Scotch blood but Windham birth, 
drew forth the worship of the New Hampshire Bard, 
aud at her death he felt the sense of an infinite loss 
and that the shadow of a great sorrow had darkened 
his pathway. She rests in the old Kirk yard, at 
the head of Windham Range, as does the Scottish 
" Mary " in the Kirk yard at Greenock ; she sleeps, 
as does her Scottish prototype, not far from bright 
waters, while among the quiet sleepers about her, 
and in another cemetery within view, are those of 
the same Scotch blood, and names of Allison, 
Brown, Campbell, Morrison, as are in the Greenock 
Kirk yard, while the other names mentioned there 
of Jameson, McGregor, and Ramsay, are duplicated 
in cemeteries not far distant, in the Londonderry 
settlement*. 



*In the old Londonderry, N. H., townships were the 
familiar Scotch names of Aiken, Alexander, Anderson, 



THE RIDDLE. 9& 



A KIDDLE, WHICH APPEARED IN ROBERT B. 
THOMAS' "FARMER'S ALMANAC" FOR THE 
YEAR 1807. 



My nature is strange, oft subject to change 

Sometimes with three heads I appear ; 
With two I converse ! but one is perverse ; 

Not* endued with reason or fear. 
Some pretend I've a tail, am female and male, 

And to form me both sexes unite. 
1 am smooth, yet am rough ; I'm tender, yet tough ; 

I'm fair, oft black and oft white. 
As to legs I have eight ; some small and some great,. 

But what will surprise you still more, 



Annis, Archibald, Armour, Armstrong, Barnet, Barr, 
Bartley, Bell, Betton, Blair, Bolton, Boyd, Boyes, Burns, 
Caldwell, Cargill, Carr or Karr, Clendennin, Davidson,. 
Darrah, Dickey, Dinsmoor, Gait, Gilmore, Gordon, 
Graham, Gregg, Grimes, Hamilton, Harper, Hemphill, 
Heniy, Hiland, Holmes, Hopkins, Humphrey, Jack, 
Jackson, Jameson, Johnston, Kinkead, Kyle, Mack, 
McAdams, McCleary, McConihe, McCoy, McDaniel, Mc- 
Dearmaid, McGaw, Mcllvaine, McKeen, McLaughlin, 
McMaster, Montgomeiy, Moor, Morrison, Morrow, Nes- 
mith, Nevins, Ober, Orr, Patterson, Richey, Scott, Simp- 
son, Smiley, Smith, Steele, Stuart, Templeton, Thom r 
Thompson, Vance, Wallace, Waugh, Wear, Wilson. 



94 THE RIDDLE. 

You plainly may see, that ou one side I've three, 
Ou the other side, half half a score. 

I'm very devout, I am kuowu all about, 
And at church once a week I am found. 

All markets I visit, now tell me what is it, 
Does in such contradictions abound. 



ANSWER TO THE FOREGOING. 



To fairly describe, the nation or tribe, 

In which such a monster is found, 
I view'd it all o'er, behind and before, 

And fancied I saw it turn round. 
A female yet male — three heads and one tail ! 

Still changing its nature by turns ! 
Who knows then, quoth I, but before this thing die, 

Some one of those heads may have horns ? 
Though tender, 'tis tough ; though smooth it is 
rough ! 

Five legs out of eight ou one side ! 
Of unequal size ! at once in surprise, 

I've found out the riddle ! I cried. 
A sober old couple, which like to ride double, 

To church and to market their horse ; 



ANSWER TO THE RIDDLE. 95 

They talk as they go, that corn is too low, 

Or preaching 's too high, that is worse. 
Their sulky old nag — his tail he doth wag ; 

But the timid old lady still keeps, 
Like a modest young bride, both legs on one side, 

While close to her husband she creeps, 
Good Almanac maker, perhaps you're a Quaker, 

A foe to each bawdy-like fashion ; 
Should wives ride a straddle, would spoil all your 
riddle, 

And bring a reproach on the nation. 
The riddle propounded, I think I've expounded, 

For the sheets and the raiment I call ! 
Now, Thomas, be handsome, and don't play the 
Sampsom. 

For I've not yok'd your heifer at all. 

" Rustic Bard." 



LINES TO HON - . SILAS BETTON. 



THE FOLLOWING WAS SENT TO HON. SILAS 
BETTON, ON RETURNING TO HIM BURN'S 
AND M'NEIL'S POEMS, WHO HAD LENT 
THEM TO THE '-RUSTIC BARD." 



Kind friend and honorable Esquire, 
Your Scottish poems I admire ; 
To thank you, sir, is my desire, 

Since pleas'd I feel ; 
Charm'd with the chord of Burn's lyre, 

And bard M'Neil. 



But oh ! the celebrated Burns, 

Who sometimes for his folly mourns, 

Charm'd with his sense and witty turns,. 

Upon my conscience ; 
I think the man's a dunce who spurns 

And calls it nonsense. 

Oh ! let me ne'er again engage, 

To read those rhymes to J***y P*ge, 

Or any other in this age, 

Of stoic sort, 
Lest Burns' ashes rise in rage, 

And blast me for't. 



LINES TO HON. SILAS BETTON. 97 

But when be paints his lovely Jean ! 
What beauties in the verse are seen ! 
Her virtuous heart can banish spleen, 

And bless his life ; 
My native passions rising keen, 

Adore the wife. 

But now behold his aged sire ! 

With wife and children round the fire, 

O ! hear them tune the heavenly lyre, 

In martyr's air ! 
While love and peace each heart inspire, 

They kneel in prayer ! 

Would Heaven grant my highest wish, 
(Though atheists mock and deists hiss), 
And of the purest earthly bliss, 

Make me partaker ; 
I'd form a family like this, 

And praise my Maker ! 



Then fare ye well, my loving friend, 
Whose generous heart can give and lend, 
With gratitude these lines I send, 

Depend upon it ; 
But fear your patience I'll offend, 

With my dull sonnet. 



98 THE ELECTION OF HON. JEREMIAH SMITH. 



CELEBRATING THE ELECTION OF 
HON. JEREMIAH SMITH AS GOVERNOR*. 



Last night in our fun, the chorus begun, 
And Governor Smith was the toast. 

yfc ?fc $£ -Sfc ■$£ ^ 

I seldom had been so pleased with a scene, 

# To me 'twas delightful and rare. 
My muse spread her wing, and urged me to sing, 

And turned the song into a prayer — 
May he that's elected, by Heav'n be protected, 

And wisdom inspire his action, 
And form a bright chain to unite us again, 

And destroy the vile Hydra of faction. 
May his bellows prove tight, and always blow 
right, 

Nor make one political stammer ; 
Till Democrat fools become polished tools, 

Under vise and sharp file and his hammer. 



* On Friday, June 9, 1809, the editor and poet met at 
Mr. Gordon's in Salem, when the news came of the elec- 
tion of Hon. Jeremiah Smith as Governor of New Hamp- 
shire. Refreshments were served and Gov. Smith was 
the toast. The poet went home and next morning sent 
the above lines. 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 99 

May his anvil and wedge stand firm for the sledge, 
That's wielded with prudence and pith ; 

Let him stand at the forge, dread not Bona' nor 
George, 
And New Hampshire be blessed in her Smith. 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 
JULY 10, 1809. 



My honor'd friend, and much loved Silas, 
Whose heart is free, and frank, and guileless, 
When press'd with care the brow is smileless, 

Your lib'ral hand, 
E'en pleasure, to the heart that's joyless, 

It can command. 

Oh ! how it charms my heart to read, 
And see you mount your poet-steed ! 
Again I see you light with speed, 

The muse unhamper, 
And like a lawyer finely plead, 

To make her scamper. 



100 ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 

The sweet harmonious lines you sent me, 
How to the nines, they do content me ! 
But yet, so high, to compliment me, 

In pathos such, 
And with that glorious book present me, 

It seems too much. 

My flatter'd muse I may compare, 

To little Robert in a chair, 

The thoughtless nurse that should take care,. 

" A man," she calls ; 
Rob climbs again, nor thinks of fear, 

Till down he falls ! 

It must be deemed gross imposition, 
To set my lays in competition 
With others, fam'd for erudition 

And college lore ; 
At least it must be vain ambition, 

If nothing more. 

No rustic modern bard can claim, 
To rank so high in lists of fame ; 
Your song, " Tom Paul," emits a flame, 

Fair as the sun ; 
And shall immortalize your name, 

While rivers run. 

Had I the art to make words ring, 
Like lofty Burns, I'd rant and sing, 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 101 

My muse should stretch her . fluttering wing, 

And soar apace ; 
And flowers from off Parnassus bring, 

Your brow to grace. 

Then hold your pen and " write away," 

There's no excuse for your delay ; 

Let loose the muse and "give her play," 

And never blame her ; 
Oast her vile fetters far away, 

Or you may lame her. 

And let it ne'er again be said, 

That an embargo stopp'd your trade ; 

Such base restrictions may be laid, 

By servile fools ; 
Let none e'er say that you obey'd 

Such musty rules. 

Non-intercourse ! the thing is hollow ! 

A measure causeless, vague, and shallow ; 

The heads who formed it sure were mellow ; 

'Tis best by half, 
Great Madison forthwith to follow, 

And take it off. 

Believe me, sir, for all that's said, 
I've no intention to upbraid, 
Although your answer was delay'd, 



102 ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 

By your postponment ; 
If 'twas a crime, I'm sure you've made 
Complete atonement. 

My little book, O ! bow I prize it ; 

I am afraid I idolize it ; 

But yet tbe wretcb, wbo dares despise it, 

Iu proud disdaiu, 
His sordid bauds, nor stoic eyes, it 

Sball ne'er profane. 

And now my wortby friend and kind, 
My beart to you feels so inclin'd, 
Tbat from bencefortb if you've a mind, 

Though not akin, sir, 
A loving brother you shall find, 

In Robert Dinsmoor. 

Windham, July 10, 1809. 



ANSWER TO DR. JOHN PARK. 103 



AN ANSWER TO A LETTER FROM DR. JOHN 
PARK*, ACCOMPANYING A PRESENT OF THE 
"RELIQUES" OF ROBERT BURNS. SEPT 5, 

1809. 



My favorite friend and cousin kind, 

Your soul seems still with mine entwin'd, 

A constant friend in you 1 find, 
Without defection. 

Your verse brings scenes that 're past to mind- 
Sweet recollection ! 

I thank you sir for every favor, 

Of which you've made me the receiver, 

Since you of " Burns," so kind and clever, 

Make me the owner ; 
My grateful heart be sure shall never 

Forget the donor. 



* He was an own cousin of the " Rustic Bard," as their 
mothers were sisters, both daughters of Capt. John 
Cochran, the early emigrant and settler in Windham, 
N. H. He was a nephew of the wife of the Bard, Mary 
Park. Andrew and Mary (Cochran) Park were his par- 
ents, and the grandson of Dea. Robert and Jane (Wear) 
Park, Alexander and Margaret (Waugh) Park were his 
Scotch-blooded great-grandparents, who came in 1728 
from one of the Scotch settlements in the North of 



104 ANSWER TO DR. JOHN PARK. 

Hail, memory ! friend to friendship true, 

Half of our joys we owe to you ! 

Past pleasing scenes then bring to view, 

By 'cute reflection ; 
So lovers may their pangs review, 

By retrospection. 

Yes, Jonny, I remember well, 
I taught you little words to spell, 
And sat as master (strange to tell !) 

In place of better, 
And show'd you how to hold a quill, 

And form a letter. 

To the old schoolhouse you would come, 
Through drifts of snow, with fingers numb, 
Though uncle Joe would help you some, 

But growing colder ; 
Then gladly I would take you home 

Upon my shoulder. 



Ireland, and lived and died in Windham Range. Dr. 
John Park was born on the farm in Windham Range, 
owned by the late Isaiah Dinsmoor, Jan. 7, 1775. He 
was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1791 ; became 
an accomplished scholar, a physician, an editor, and a 
noted teacher in Boston, Mass.,' and died in Worcester, 
Mass., March 3, 1852. He was the father of Mrs. Louisa 
J. (Park) Hall, a writer of note (she was the wife of Rev. 
E. B. Hall, D. D.); of Hon. John C. Park of Boston, 
Mas ; of Mrs. Judge B. F. Thomas of that city, the 
parents of the wife of Hon. Richard Olney, the late 
Secretary of State. 



ANSWER TO DR. JOHN PARR. 105 

And if by chance I'd slump and fall, 
Then you were buried, hat and all, 
Nor did I mind the pain at all, 

Though each a hand freeze, 
If I could meet my darling Poll 

At uncle Andrew's. 

Perhaps to please you I'd rehearse 

" Skip's last advice " in limping verse ; 

Then emulation did you pierce 

With rapture new — 
Your virgin muse then riving fierce, 

Sang " Robert's Shoe." 

Your docile powers fast growing strong, 
Though scarce discerning right from wrong, 
To Williams' you trudged along, 

On woody road, 
And Latin scholars ran'k among — 

Your book, a load. 

Then S**** first began to preach, 
And after fame did wring and reach, 
And old Arminius' tenets teach, 

By a false rule ; 
And Calvin's system tear and stretch, 

And ridicule. 

Por fear your mind would take th' infection, 
I set myself for your protection — 



106 ANSWER TO DR. JOHN PARK. 

On Calvanistic predilection, 

My mind was bent ; 
And quoted texts for your direction, 

With long comment. 

Good old Preceptor would declaim, 
" Rigid and moderate " was his theme, 
We all must quake at Hopkins' name, 

Pernicious man ! 
And Edwards, of immortal fame, 

Was of his clan. 

Then in my field we would dispute'im, 

And sometimes we would laugh and hoot'im, 

And three miles off we could refute'im, 

With reasons strong, 
And with false doctrines durst impute'im, 

And tenets wrong. 

Then you, my young friend, must walk the round 
Of scientific, college ground ; 
With joy of heart I always found, 

E'en after all, 
Your sentiment like Peter, sound, 

Or 'postle Paul. 

When in full manhood you appear, 
Youth on your side and prospects clear, 
And moving in a higher sphere, 
The fair descries ye ; 



ANSWER TO DR. JOHN PARK. 107 

Kind Heaven, to check some wild career, 
Points out Louisa. 

Sweet heart congenite, heavenly fair ! 
She binds you in love's silken snare, 
But finds herself a captive there, 

In your fond heart, 
Now joined in one united pair, 

No more to part. 

Each flattering, vain, galanting rover 
You scorn'd, but own'd yourself a'lover ; 
Then sought and found me mowing clover — 

With heart full throbbing, 
And all your passion did discover 

To uncle Robin. 

Some loving letter to explore, 
Perhaps you stopp'd a pace before, 
But stumps and hillocks blundering o'er 

I'd almost hit you — 
I've wondered twenty times or more, 

I did not cut you. 

Hail, virtuous love ! delightful theme, 

That warms my heart with heavenly flame ! — 

Then turning, to the house we came, 

Well pleas'd and jolly, 
And there expatiate on the same, 

With kind aunt Polly. 



108 ANSWER TO DR. JOHN PARK. 

But what is this obscures my sight — 

A cloud almost as dark as night, 

That hides those darling prospects bright? 

Ah ! mournful story ! 
Here, Ichabod my hand must write — 

Departed glory ! 

When faith's alive, my sorrow dies — 
Polly still lives beyond the skies ; 
Christ's voice shall make her body rise 

In glory bright — 
I hope to see her with these eyes, 

In robes of light. 

Here cease my muse — farewell my friend ; 
May peace and love your life attend ; 
If I forget thee till mine end, 

While blood keeps running. 
Or favors slight, let my right hand 

Forget her cunning. 



LETTER TO MR. ALLEN. 109 



A POETICAL LETTER ADDRESSED TO MR. 
ALLEN, PRINTER AND EDITOR OF THE 
MERRIMACK INTELLIGENCER. DEC. 1, 1809. 



Dear Mr. Allen, honest printer, 

When Sol moves southward of our center, 

And sets us on the verge of winter ; 

Stern frost before us ; 
We take the field, and trembling, venture 

To combat Boreas. 

For such conflict, 'tis best we should 
Be furnish'd well with clothes and food ; 
Deprived of those, none e'er withstood 

A foe so cruel ; 
Then, meet his rage with good oak wood — 

'Tis federal fuel. 

I send you, sir, a solid load, 

As e'er in cart or wagon rode, 

Full cord-wood length, well trimm'd and stow'd, 

For cheat I shall not ; 
Hard yellow oak, not crook'd nor bow'd, 

Chink'd up with walnut. 



110 LETTER TO MR. ALLEN. 

Not democratic smoking trash, 

Like bass-wood, poplar, birch, or ash, 

Built up as hollow as a squash, 

With concave top, 
Where stalks for fodder in they dash, 

To fill it up. 

Accept it from a rustic bard ; 
'Tis honestly your just reward ; 
Three dollars, sir, you may afford 

To give me credit — 
Then I'll not fear a bailiff hoard, 

I've sometime dreaded. 

O ! may you never need to doom 
Your lady, fair in beauty's bloom, 
To shiver in a chilly room ! 

This would distress you. 
When federal wood dispels the gloom, 

Her smiles will bless you. 

In days when nations, great and wise, 
Pretend to friendship in disguise ; 
When ministers are charged with lies, 

To please the faction, 
And Gallic scribblers dare despise 

And rail at Jackson. 

Be fearless, just, and " not too rash" ; 
Then may your patrons pay their cash ; 



LETTER TO MR. ALLEN. Ill 

Those fiends, whose creeds and practice clash, 

May you discern them, 
And with discretion deal the lash, 

And better learn them. 

May the Intelligencer's page 
Be ever useful to this age, 
And ever free from party rage, 

May it abide ; 
And o'er your press and person sage, 

Wisdom preside. 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 



Windham, Dec. 25, 1809. 
My Worthy Friend : 

I am much indebted to you for the pains you 
have taken to correct " Skip's Last Advice." For 
whether your amendment be correct or not, I am 
certain my honor was your motive, that the piece 
might appear more grammatical. Let not the insig- 
nificaDt term " mool" distress you — it passes very 
well. Mr. Allen told me the other day, the poem 
was well received in Haverhill, and much applauded 
amongst his hearers, as far as he could learn. I 
think, myself, " mools " has no singular anymore 



112 ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 

than ashes. But this is not discerned by the gener- 
ality of our Scotch readers. They consider it to 
mean the same as moid, which is pretty generally 
understood earth, or mould; perhaps originating 
from moulder, as a body mouldering in the dust, 
and properly " gawin " to the mools." I some 
doubt whether it would stand the criticism of John 
Or, Esq., or some of his sons,' or perhaps a 
M'Keen, or a M'Gregore. I am told that Capt. 
Hunter's wife (a M'Gregore) is the best Scotch 
dictionary in Londonderry, and reads it the best. 
Perhaps it may never reach her or them, and if it 
should, they make but a few of the vast number to 
whom Skip has addressed himself. 

My dear sir, I read with peculiar satisfaction the 
contents of your letter of the 2 2d instant. I am 
happy to find that you have experienced great con- 
solation amid a scene of sorrow. The tender and 
impressive manner in which your brother's orphan 
sons were committed to your care must make them 
dear to you ; and when you describe their charac- 
ters, and in particular, the pleasing manners, life 
and death of the one now deceased, it excites in 
my breast emotions both of joy and of sorrow. 
Your care of him is forever at an end ! and 
although you have made a final settlement with 
the surviving young man, respecting the property 
it to be your duty to aid him with fatherly advice 
which belonged to them, in a manner honorable 
both to him and you, yet I hope you will still feel 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 113 

aud counsel, which doubtless he may yet need, aud 
I hope he will be ever disposed to receive it from 
you with filial gratitude. When you speak of the 
distressed situation of your favorite sister, her 
family and late husband, you touch me on a tender 
part. My heart bleeds at the recollection of scenes 
which I have witnessed in that house. Captain 
Dinsmoor, from his infancy, was a special friend to 
me. I have had many tokens of his esteem. I 
shall here relate one circumstance as a proof of 
his love. He knew the affection I had for my dear 
wife now dead, and he felt for me when she was 
sick. A few evenings before her departure, he came 
to see her, and privately put a thirty dollar bill into 
my hands, saying, "Robin, if you stand in need, 
use that freely." It was a great kindness to me at 
that time, and I hope never to forget it. Fortu- 
nately, by the sale of a boat load of wood at 
Newbury, I was enabled to return it to him the 
next fall. He would take no interest for it, but 
my thanks, and that I forced upon him. 

No man has a higher veneration for his memory 
than I have ; but to write anything on it, I feel 
myself entirely incompetent. But this I have said, 
and will say, he was a perfect pattern of honesty, 
frugality and industry, peaceable and kind. He 
was upright, honorable and manty, possessing 
unsullied integrity and Christ-like benevolence. 



114 ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SAMUEL ARMOR. 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SAMUEL ARMOR. 



Windham, Feb. 21, 1810. 

Dear Sir : — Your parabolical and truly poetical 
Fable, I think discovers marks of high ingenuity in 
its author, and is one of the best satires on the late 
policy of our national government, of any thing I 
have yet seen, and with pleasure I contribute my 
mite in praise of its merit. 

With pleasure, sir, I must confess, 
I read your friendly short address ; 
The compliment on me conferr'd, 
I should be proud of, if deserv'd. 
I own the muse's potent charms, 
Her genial flame my bosom warms. 
Though at her shrine I sometimes bow, 
Idolatry I disavow. 
To rightly judge poetic merit, 
But few the talent doth inherit ; 
And to impute that gift to me, 
Must border, sir, on flattery. 
But since the wish directs the sense, 
Be sure your friend takes no offence, 
Though vanity be raised, no matter 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SAMUEL ARMOR. 115 

I'll not believe you meant to flatter. 

Your well- wrought fable I've perused, 

And o'er the curious pictures mused ; 

And by the portraits I could see, 

Were never meant such curs as me. 

Perhaps they're found among the great, 

No less than ministers of state ! 

For oh ! this truth may be lamented, 

Men oft by brutes are represented ! 

That some are dogs, we must not say, 

Although in morals base as they ; 

Yet bards inspired, with safety can 

Make dog, or fox, to ape a man ; 

And by a pyebald mare, or nag, 

Present to view the Gallic flag — 

Make the false fox, from conscious guilt, 

Charge shepherd's dog with grand insult ; 

And make the rascal so behave, 

As show himself both fool and knave — 

Make surly mastiff gape and growl, 

And fright poor Reynard to the soul ; 

And name them, just as we do oxen — 

Call Reynard, Smith — the Bull-Dog, Jackson ! 



116 A FATHER'S LAMENT. 



A FATHER'S LAMENT FOR THE DEATH OF 
A FAVORITE DAUGHTER. DEC. 10, 1813. 



Why, O my soul, this sad complaint? 
Why should my groans my sorrows vent ? 
Why flow these tears without restraint 

O'er Betsey's urn? 
The pleasant favor Heav'n me lent, 

I must return. 

When but an infant, prattling, young, 
I was delighted with her tongue ; 
But joys ecstatic, when she sung, 

Charm'd all my heart ; 
Time shew'd her minstrel heav'nly strung, 

Improv'd by art. 

Why should reflection paint her mien, 
And figure, graceful to be seen ; 
With mind unruffled and serene, 

I envied state — 
Her conscious iunocence was screen, 

'Gainst causeless hate. 

The heart that warm'd her lovely breast, 
Could melt for those who were distress'd 



A FATHER'S LAMENT. 117 

Her ready hands to help th' oppress'd, 

She would employ ; 
When all was well, then she was blest, 

And sang for joy ! 

When at her wasting cough I'd start, 
She well discern'd my inward smart ; 
" Sing, dad," she'd say, to sooth my heart, 

And cheerful smile; 
And with her well-tun'd counter part, 

My griefs beguile. 

No more her little sister band 
Shall|time their music by her hand ! 
No more shall she a leader stand 

Her mates among, 
And pay her Maker's just demand, 

A sacred song ! 

When sickness press'd, or pains did bend me, 
O ! with what care she would attend me ! 
If 1 was straiten'd, she'd befriend me, 

With love so true ; 
Her hard earn'cl dollar she would lend me, 

And help me through ! 

The prophet, shelter'd in his bower, 
From scorching heat and pending shower, 
Was of his hope in one short hour 
Bereft! — Ah, Lord! 



118 A FATHER'S LAMENT. 

E'en so, a worm destroyed my flower, 
Like Jonah's gourd ! 

Farewell, my sweet — my much loved Betty I 
While life remains, I'll not forget thee, 
Though death untimely did beset thee, 

And laid you low ; 
To hopeless mourn, O, never let me, 

Nor siuk in woe. 

Despair shall not my faith annoy, 
Her soul immortal, shall not die ! 
Her dust shall rise, and see with joy, 

A Saviour's face ; 
And shall a golden harp employ 

In endless praise ! 



The reading of "A Father's Lament," deeply 
touched the feeling of a young man, Ninian C. 
Betton*, then unknown to the " Rustic Bard." He 
wrote an anonymous poem of much merit and 
addressed it to the poet, which drew from him 
the following poem : 



* James Betton was born in Scotland in 1728; 
was in Windham, N. H., March 5, 1753. He was a 
marked man in the Scotch blooded community. Ken- 



THE ANSWER. 119 



THE ANSWER. 1813. 



Where is the man whose tender heart, 
Can take with me the mourner's part, 
And realize the piercing smart, 

Of death's dread spear, 
And paint the shrouded maid with art, 

My daughter dear? 

The gentle youth I fain would know, 
Who echoes back my tale of woe, 
And makes my tears again to flow, 

Repeats my grief, 
Yet can cousoling balm bestow, 

Which gives relief. 



dered important services to the town and New Hamp- 
shire, and filled prominent positions for the state. (See 
record of Betton family in "History of Windham in 
New Hampshire," by Leonard A. Morrison.) He mar- 
ried Elizabeth Dickey of Londonderry, N. H. ; he died 
March 18, 1803 His son, Samuel Betton, born 1755, 
settled in New Boston, N. H. ; married Ann Ramsey ; 
she died there Nov. 23, 1790; he died there Oct. 9, 1790. 
Their son: Ninian Clark Betton, born Jan. 10, 1787; 
married his cousin Wealthy J., daughter of Hon. Silas 
Betton of Salem, N. H. She died Feb. 10, 1876, aged 84 
years. He was a lawyer in Boston, Mass , in high 
standing, and died there Nov. 19, 1856, aged 68 years. 



120 THE ANSWER. 

Kind hearted youth, whoe'er you be. 

Who like a parent feels for me, 

Now launched on life's tempestuous sea, 

To toss and roll, 
Some adverse blast may wait for thee, 

And wreck thy soul. 

Should some fair beauty charm your eyes, 
And bind your heart in nuptial ties, 
Where ceuters all you love or prize 

Of earthly treasure, 
Whose heart with yours can sympathize 

In woe or pleasure. 

From thence a thousand prospects rise, 
New scenes, new hopes, increase your joys. 
But ah ! death's mortal arrow flies, 

The day grows dark, 
The soul of all your comfort dies, 

Gone down, your bark. 

Futurity is a sealed book, 
Wherein no mortal eye can look. 
The road of life, oft first mistook, 

The rose adorns, 
But soon 'tis found to wind and crook, 

Beset with thorns. 

May heav'n my unknown friend reward, 
And save him from a fate so hard, 



RESPONSE TO THE "ECHO." 121 

Tho' 'twas the fate of " Rustic Bard," 

Let none repine, 
But fall adoring, and regard 

The Lord divine. 



THE RUSTIC BARD'S RESPONSE TO THE 
"ECHO," A POEM WRITTEN BY NINIAN C. 
BETTON. 



Dear friendly youth, your " Echo's " sound. 
Must from my heart again rebound ; 
A heart that feels another wound — 

Your orphan tale ! 
Mine eyes in pity's tears are drown'd, 

To hear thee wail. 

Poor lonely youth ! but happier far 
Than thousand other orphans are, 
When by a most unholy war, 

Their parents bled ! 
They friendless every ill must bear — 

Their comforts dead. 

Not so with you — no foe to fear, 
Your friends and relatives are here — 



122 RESPONSE TO THE "ECHO." 

An honor'd uncle, kind and near, 

Who still will prove 
Your counsellor and patron dear, 

With father's love. 

Let you and I no more complain — 

If reason and religion reign, 

Our hearts shall soon forget their pain ; 

In hope of this, 
Our pious friends shall live again, 

In endless bliss. 

I never wish my rhymes should fall 
In literary hands at all, 

Nor did I think my reed so small, 
Should e'er be found 

To echo back from Dartmouth's hall, 
So sweet a sound ! 

I ne'er indulg'd a hope so dear, 

As that my lays should touch the ear, 

Of learned pupils, standing near 

(Who write by rule) , 
His seat, where science has no peer, 

In Wheelock's school. 

Let vain ambition never dare 
To shew my rustic members there, 
On hallow'd ground ! let me beware, 
And not intrude, 



RESPONSE TO THE "ECHO." 123- 

Lest literature should frown and tear 
My vesture rude. 

Bright son of science, rise and shine ! 
Your virgin muse appears divine ; 
You need not ask the fabled nine 

To help or aid you ; 
A poet's laurels shall be thine, 

In justice paid you. 

And though dame fortune may seem wild, 
And spurn your wishes for a while — 
Hope still — she'll yet propitious smile, 

And kind, regard you ; 
And with some poet's favorite child, 

In love reward you. 

When your capacious mind to store, 

With philosophic classic lore, 

On nature's boundless works you pore, 

'Till darkness veils you ; 
Then rise in rapture, and adore, 

When reason fails you ! 

Whose searchless wisdom, boundless power > 
Made heaven, and earth, and every flower; 
The insect flies, and seraphs tower 

T' obey his nod ; 
Then let the atheist's reasoning cower, 

And own a God. 



124 RESPONSE TO THE "ECHO." 

"lis true no finite mortal can 

The smallest of God's creatures scan ; 

Much less his universal plan, 

Or fix'd decree ; 
We might as well grasp with our span, 

A boundless sea. 

Great nature's volume open stands, 
The wise can read it in all lands ; 
But Heaven has put into our hands 

One more divine ! 
Where the Creator's just commands, 

And mercies shine ! 

We'll with devotion read His word, 
Which light and comfort can afford, 
Where faith can see a Saviour Lord, 

In heavenly rays ; 
Then let our hearts in sweet accord, 

Exalt His praise. 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 125 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 



Windham, Feb. 26, 1811. 

Sir : — The following verses, which I here address 
to you, as my peculiar friend, were written on 
account of your requesting me to write some lines 
for the anniversary of the new year. If I know 
anything of the poet, he must write as he feels, or 
not at all. The late bereavement which I have 
experienced, in the loss of a beloved daughter, 
occasioned me to reflect on other past scenes, which 
turned my mind rather upon the melancholy, and 
the plaintive is not my native strain. I had thoughts 
of never shewing them to any body ; but am con- 
fident you will never expose them to my hurt. 
I have entitled it, "The Poet's Farewell to th& 
Muses." 



126 THE POET'S FAREWELL TO THE MUSES. 



THE POET'S FAREWELL TO THE MUSES. 



Forbear, ray friend, withdraw your plea. 
Ask not a song from one like me, 

O'ercast with clouds of sorrow ! 
My spring of life, and summer's fled, 
I mourn those darling comforts dead, 

Regardless of tomorrow ! 
My harp is on the- willow hung, 

Nor dissipates the gloom ! 
My sweetest minstrel's all unstrung, 

And silent as the tomb ! 

My lute too, is mute too, 

While drops the trickling tear ! 

My organ makes jargon, 

And grates my wounded ear. 

II. 

Farewell yon mould'ring mansion, there, 
Where first I drew the natal air, 

And learn'd to prate and play. 
There rose a little filial band, 
Beneath kind parents' fostering hand — 

Their names let live for aye ! 



THE POET'S FAREWELL TO THE MUSES. 127 

They taught their offspring there to read 

And hymn their Maker's praise, 
To say their catechism and creed, 

And shun all vicious ways. 

They careful and prayerful, 

Their pious precepts press'd, 

With ample example 

Their children still were bless'd. 

III. 

Kind man ! my guardian and my sire, 
Friend of the muse and poet's lyre, 

With genuine wit and glee, 
How sweetly did his numbers glide, 
When all delighted by his side, 

He read his verse to me ! 
The parallel was drawn between 

The freedom we possess'd, 
And where our fathers long had been, 

By lords and bishops press'd. 

His rhyme then did chime then, 

Like music through my heart ; 

Desiring, aspiring, 

I strove to gain his art. 

IV. 

No more I'll tune the poet's lyre, 
No more I'll ask the muse's fire 



128 THE POET'S FAREWELL TO THE MUSES. 

To warm my chilling breast ; 
No more I'll feel the genial flame, 
Nor seek a poet's deathless fame, 

But silent sink to rest. 
Farewell, the mount, call'd Jenny's Hill — 

Ye stately oaks and pines ! 
Farewell, yon pretty purling rill, 

Which from its brow declines, 

Meandering and wandering, 

The woodbines sweet among, 

Where pleasure could measure 

The bobylinkorn's song ! 

V. 

On summer evenings, calm and bright, 
O'er yonder summit's towering height, 

With pleasure did I roam ; 
Perhaps to seek the robin's young, 
Or hear the mavis' warbling tongue, 

And bring the heifers home — 
See from my foot, the night-hawk rise, 

And leave her unfledged pair, 
Then quick descending from the skies, 

Like lightning set the air. 

The hares there, she scares there, 

And through the pines they trip, 

They're sought then, and caught then,. 

By my companion, Skip. 



FAREWELL TO THE MUSES. 129 

VI. 

And over's steeples there were seen, 
While o'er the vast expanse between, 

I did with wonder gaze ; 
There, as it were beneath my feet, 
I view'd my father's pleasant seat — 

My joy in younger days. 
There Windham Range, in flowery vest, 

Was seen in robes of green, 
While Cobbet's pond, from east to west, 

Spread her bright waves between. 

Cows lowing, cocks crowing, 

While frogs on Cobbet's shore, 

Lay croaking and mocking 

The bull's tremendous roar. 

VII. 

The fields no more their glories wear, 
The forests now stand bleak and bare, 

All of their foliage stript ; 
The rosy lawn, the flowery mead, 
Where lambkins used to play and feed, 

By icy fingers nipt. 
No more I'll hear with ravished ears, 

The music of the wood, 
Sweet scenes of youth, now gone with years 

Long pass'd beyond the flood. 

Bereaved and grieved, 



130 FAREWELL TO THE MUSES. 

I solitary wail, 

With sighing and crying, 

My drooping spirits fail. 

VIII. 

No more will I the Spring Brook trace, 
No more with sorrow view the place 

Where Mary's wash-tub stood ; 
No more I'll wander there alone, 
And lean upon the mossy stone, 

Where once she pil'd her wood. 
'Twas there she bleached her linen cloth, 

By yonder bass-wood tree ; 
From that sweet stream she made her broth. 

Her pudding and her tea. 

Whose rumbling and tumbling 

O'er rocks with quick despatch, 

Made ringing and singing, 

None but her voice could match. 

IX. 

Farewell, sweet scenes of rural life, 
My faithful friends and loving wife, 

But transcient blessings all. 
Bereft of those, I sit and mourn ; 
The spring of life will ne'er return, 

Chill death grasps great aud small ; 
I fall before thee, God of truth ! 



TO SILAS BETTON. 131 

O, bear my prayer and cry ; 
Let me enjoy immortal youth, 
With saints above the sky. 
Thy praise there, I'll raise there, 
With all my heart and soul, 
Where pleasure and treasure, 
In boundless oceans rolls. 



ROBERT DLNSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON. 
tfOV. 22, 1811. 



Dear Sir : 

I have herewith sent you " Spring's Lamentation 
and Confession," which you will find inscribed to 
you. The poem may appear satirical, and in some 
measure severe ; but you will pardon the muse when 
I give you the following information : 

This little dog had lived some years in my father's 
family before his decease ; and in the provision 
which he made for my mother, which was ample, 
she was left sole proprietor of all his buildings and 
stock. Soon after this period my youngest sister 



132 TO SILAS BETTON. 

was married, and moved away ; and William (who 
in the poem is called Billy) only, of all her numer- 
ous children remained in her family. About this 
time William was engaged in building his new house, 
and occasionally often from home. The good old 
lady was many times left without any company but 
her little dog. In the course of about two years he 
took possession of his new house, and persuaded 
my mother to come and keep it for him. This she 
consented to do rather than repair the old one, 
which was much decayed. But here Billy soon left 
her, and to make a fortune, let out his farm, and 
went to Charlestown, and let himself to a shipbuilder, 
where he continued four years. During this time 
she made Billy's new house her habitation ; but her 
heart was still in the old mansion-house. She paid 
it frequent visits, and always in summer occupied 
her old bleaching green at the back of it. Spring 
never failed to attend her. All the brute creatures 
that my father left with her were either sold, 
changed, or dead, except the mare and the dog. 
In this solitary state, her attachment seemed to 
increase towards those two animals, in the absence 
of her other friends. Spring was always subject 
to err ; but his mistress could always forgive him, 
judging, as every one must who knew the little 
cur, that it proceeded more from want of thought 
than a design to injure. He was her company 
both by night and day, and the mare was her 



TO SILAS BETTON. 133 

pleasure carriage when she chose to ride out. 
The mare is still alive, and the old lady is yet 
able to ride her, and does so frequently to your 
little city and Haverhill town, and does her own 
business, although at the advanced age of seventy- 
six. Billy at length returned, and had learned to 
smoke a long pipe like other fashionable young 
gentlemen. He then painted up his house in style 
and soon got married. Spring was amazing fond 
of his old friend, and would follow him almost 
everywhere he went, and especially to meeting, 
which practice Billy utterly abhorred ; he used to 
shut him up on Lord's days at home ; but Spring- 
generally made his way out, and if the doors were 
shut when he got to meeting, he would yell and 
tear more like a fiend than a dog. But he soon 
found that this stratagem would answer his pur- 
pose ; for Deacon Morison would let him in rather 
than to suffer his noise. But one day, taking the 
start of the Deacon, Billy outwitted him, and just 
as he entered the door, Billy grabbed him by the 
tail and gave him a most unmerciful whipping. 
In the course of a few days, some tattling tell-tale 
brought the whole affair to the old lady's ears ; and 
a strong jealousy instantly arose in her mind that 
Spring suffered more for abusing Billy's new house 
than for disturbing the congregation ; and calling 
Billy to her apartment, she said, " There, take and 
kill the dog outright, for he shall not live to be 



134 TO SILAS BETTON. 

abused." He absolutely refused to do it, aud T 
kuow lie would almost as soou have committed 
parricide, as have killed or destroyed anything in 
which she seemed to take comfort. John A****, 
David's son, was then making shoes at my house, 
and she remembered with what pleasure he used to 
kill her supernumerary cats, aud came stepping 
down and invited him to come up in the evening 
and bring Robin's Billy with him and kill her dog ; 
with all cheerfulness he promised to oblige her. 
Notwithstanding my pointed disapprobation, he 
completed the tragedy in the evening. I then 
" the muse unfetter'd, and gave her play." Proba- 
bly you may wish to know who the other person- 
ages are, mentioned in this poem. 

" When JSTabby's Sunday clothes, etc." — A young 
woman, learning to be a tailoress with my brother 
William's wife, with whom Spring had scraped up 
an intimate acquaintance. In the old lady's last 
address to Spring, she expresses herself : 

" 0' «' the beasts that Father left"- — This was the 
endearing name by which the humble old lady for 
many years called her husband, and she yet speaks 
of him in the same manner. 

" Auld John " — mentioned in the last line of the 
poem, was our shoemaker's own uncle, and some- 
thing a professional man. 

" Then I set off for Jonny's house'' — My brother 
John, the blacksmith, where Spring was peculiarly 
familiar. 



TO SILAS BETTON. 135 

I tried to make the little rascal .speak English at 
first, but I soon found he was far better versed in 
Scotch. He was both illiterate and vulgar, and his 
lingo will yet admit of many corrections. 

I am, Sir, with great respect, 

Your sincere friend, 

Robert Dinsmoor. 



136 SPEING'S LAMENTATION. 



SPRING'S LAMENTATION AND CONFESSION. 



INSCRIBED TO SILAS BETTON, ESQ. 



Some rhyme, a neebor's name to lash; 
Some rhyme (vain thought) for needfiC cash; 
Some rhyme to court the contra clash, 

An' raise a din; 
For me, an aim I never fash — 

I rhyme fo r fun . B ob ns . 



Alas ! an' I'm coudemn'd to death ! 
A Cobler now maim stap my breath ; 
To lea' my Dame, I'm very laith, 

Though 'tis her sentence ; 
May he that caus'd it, an' she baith, 

Soon get repentence. 

Lang hae I liv'd wi' kind Miss Bessy, 
Wha kept me cozie, warm an' fleshy ; 
In lanely hours she would caress me, 

An' mak' me fain, 
Baith e'en an' morn I gat a messy, 

As though her wean. 



SPRING'S LAMENTATION. 137 

Where'er she traveled night or clay, 

I carefu' was to clear her wa}^ 

O' toads an' snakes, and I maun say, 

I've shaw'd my spunk ; 
For though I never dar'd to slay, 

I've scar'd — a skunk. 

If she walk'd out when days were hot, 
Sometimes before her I wad trot, 
An' mon} T a fright wi' me she's got, 

For in a trice, 
I'd gie a spring as quick as shot, 

An' bark at mice. 

Nor yet was this my only fault, 
Though I maun die I'll own my guilt ; 
When clos'cl within they bade me halt 

On Sabbath day, 
My teeth hath doors an' windows spoilt, 

An' ope'd my way. 

A'e day I left my dame in lurch, 
An' after Billy trudg'd to church ; 
An' neither dreading whip or birch, 

Wi' teeth an' paw, 
An' hedious yells at the west porch, 

I 'gan to gnaw. 

The very priest was scar'd himsel', 
His sermon he could hardly spell ; 



138 SPRING'S LAMENTATION. 

Auld Carlins fancied they could smell, 
The brimstone matches ; 

They thought I was some imp o' hell, 
In quest o' wretches. 

Then Billy grasp'd a lang whip stick, 
An' stept towards me wondrous quick ; 
Quoth I, " he's coming in the nick, 

Hear how he hurries on — 
Sure 'tis another kindly trick 

Of Elder Morison*." 

As soon's I heard the moving latch, 
I press'd my head in, silly wretch ! 
But ah ! waes me ! I found my match ; 

For by my tail, 
Bill wi' a strong grip did me catch, 

And did me whail. 

All sorts o' murder I cri'd out, 

While Billy swung me roun' about, 

An' thresh'd my sides, an' back, an' snout, 

An const me by, 
Baith priest an' parish thought nae doubt, 

I dead did lie. 

My last au' warst fau't here I'll tell on, 
For which I'm dying; like a felon ; 



Elder Samuel Morison. 



SPRING'S LAMENTATION. 139 

AVhen Nabby's Sunday's clothes were well on, 

She lock'd me in ; 
Her tracks I almost swore I'd smell on, 

O, horrid sin ! 

In painted room where I was pent, 

(To win without was my intent ; 

Lest Nabby's tracks should lose the scent), 

I tore the sash, 
Bill's lang pipe frae the window went, 

An' brak' to smash. 

In hope to catch the bonnie lass, 

I stove my head right through the glass ; 

But something that sharp pointed was, 

My side did bore, 
And frae my shoulder to my base, 

My hide it tore. 

For speed o' foot but few could stan' her, 

Tho' in a bicker I've out ran her ; 

But 'mang the crowd, I did ua' ken' her, 

(Poor silly stirk), 
'Till snoaking roun' at length I foun' her, 

Snug in the kirk. 

For this my dame wi' aching side, 
Did a' the way to Hav'rill ride ; 
And laid a dollar out beside, 

Glass, pipe and putty — 



140 SPRING'S LAMENTATION. 

My very conscience canna' bide 
Those actions smutty. 

My mistress^cri'cl, " Poor Spring come till me, 
This night (she said) the boys will kill ye ; 
The shoemaker and Robin's Billy, 

Will soon be here — 
I'd just as lief, I am sae silly, 

They'd fell the meare. 

O' a' the beasts that Father left, 
You and the meare are just the heft ; 
The sentence past I maunna shift — 

How can I bear 
To be at once o' you bereft " — 

An' drapt a tear. 

" 'Twas na' because I loe'd you neither, 
That we hae liv'd sae kind the gether, 
But for the love I bore to father, 

Wha's beast ye were ; 
Frae that sprang a' my kindness rather, 

An' a' my care. 

It's true my days are almost gone, 
I find old age fast creeping on ; 
My comforts fail me every one, 

■ So, Spring, adieu — 
I've something else to think upon, 
Than things like you." 



spring's lamentation. 141 

My woe, quoth I, sieze th' Armstrong chiel, 

I dread him like the very de'el, 

Ay since his shoe-knife gart me feel 

The pains o' death — 
Oh ! loch ! how I did growl an' squeel 

To save my graith. 

Then arT I set for Jonny's house ; 
The Armstrong cobler me pursues, 
An' roun' my neck he fixt a noose, 

Wi' girnin' laugh — 
And snak'd me out as auld John us'd 

To draw a calf ! 



142 TO SARAH DINSMOOR. 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO HIS DAUGHTER 
SARAH DINSMOOR, FEB. 29, 1812. 



The cause is not for want of matter, 

That I can't write a longer letter ; 

Of that there's plenty, worse or better ; 

But like a mill, 
Whose stream beats back with surplus water, 

My wheel stands still. 

Of cares domestic, I might tell, 
Or whether we are sick or well, 
Or what disasters have befel 

Our friends around us ; 
And how with patience we dispel 

The griefs that wound us. 

Tell how the tyrant Death proceeds, 
And how a father's bosom bleeds — 
His son the staff his age now needs, 

Laid low and chilly — 
Shew Peggy dress'd in mourning weeds, 

For her loved Billy. 

Alas ! poor Peggy, is it so 
That you in silent mourning go, 
And lonely sigh a widow's woe, 



TO SARAH DINSMOOR. 143 

And bear the smart? 
Such pains and sorrows you must know, 
Pierc'd Jacob's heart. 

O sympathy ! O memory keen ! 
Reflection paints the glowing scene ; 
Your guide and patron to have been — 

Your mama dies ; 
My own young heart's imperial green, 

In silence lies. 

Here I would ask, but am afraid, 
Why were two hearts congenial made ? 
Why beauty charms love's passions aid, 

And rapture raise ? 
Yet doom'd to part in death's dark shade, 

In youth's sweet da} T s. 

Who knows what troubles some must bear? 
What pains and sorrows they shall share? 
What grief, anxiety and care, 

E'en we shall meet, 
Before we reach the mansion where 

Bliss is complete? 

Then let us not impatient grow ; 

But to our lot submissive bow. 

God's ways are just, we know not how ; 

Bless him alway. 
Hope must be all our comfort now, 

Then sing and say — 



144 THE SPARROW. 

Farewell, bright souls ! a short farewell, 

'Till we shall meet our joys to tell, 

In the sweet groves, where pleasures dwell. 

Iu fields above, 
Aud trees of life, of heavenly smell, 

Bear fruits of love ! 



THE SPARROW 
SEPT. 23, 1812. 



Poor innocent and hapless Sparrow ! 

Why should my moul-board gie thee sorrow ? 

This day thou'll chirp, an' mourn the morrow, 

Wi' anxious breast — 
The plough has turn'd the mould'riug furrow 

Deep o'er thy nest. 

Just in the middle o' the hill, 

Thy nest was plac'd wi' curious skill ; 

There I espy'd thy little bill 

Beneath the shade — 
In that sweet bower secure frae ill, 

Thine eggs thou laid. 



THE SPARROW. 145 

Five corns o' maize bad there been drappit, 
An' through the stalks thine head, thou pappit ; 
The drawing nowt couldna' be stappit, 

I quickly foun' — 
Syne frae thy cozie nest thou happit, 

An' fluttering ran. 

The sklentin stane beguil'd the sheer, 
In vain I tri'd the plough to steer ; 
A wee bit stumpie i' the rear, 

Cam' 'tween my legs — 
An' to the jee side gart me veer, 

An' crush thine eo-o- s . 



\^n- 



Alas ! alas ! my bonnie birdie ! 

Thy faithfu' mate flits roun' to guard ye. 

Connubial love ! a pattern wordy 

The pious priest ! 
What savage heart could be sae hardy, 

As wound thy breast? 

Thy ruin was nae fau't o' mine, 
(It gars me greet to see thee pine) ; 
It may be serves His great design, 

Who governs all ; 
Omniscience tents wi' eyes divine, 

The Sparrow's fall. 

A pair more friendly ne'er were married, 
Their joys and pains were equal carried ; 



146 THE POST-BOY'S ADDRESS. 

But now, ah me ! to grief they're hurried, 

Without remead ; 
When all their hope an' treasure's buried, 

"Tis sad indeed. 



THE POST-BOY'S ADDRESS. 



The Carrier of the Merrimack Intelligencer to his 
Patrons. January, 1813. 



Of time's long annals that are past, 

No year was ever like the last ; 

All Christendom engaged in arms, 

And nothing's heard but war's alarms. 

To get religion quite destroy 'd, 

Hell has its legions all employ 'd. 

I'm but a news-boy or a courier, 

Yet for the times none e'er was sorrier. 

You may think strange that such a dunce, 

Should now turn poet all at once ; 



THE POST-BOY'S ADDRESS. 147 

But Bards are prophets, you should know it ; 

King David was a royal poet, 

He told the folk then things to come, 

And I perhaps may tell you some : — 

If Madison be re-elected, 

Great troubles may be soon expected. 

When in disguise a fast he calls, 

" To twenty gods or none," he falls ! 

French influence so pervades his heart, 

He's now in league with Bonaparte ; 

He's so allur'd with Gallic charms, 

He'll fall asleep in Bona's arms. 

So Sampson sweetly took a nap, 

On a deceitful harlot's lap, 

Nor yet Philistine lords he fears, 

'Till off his hair and strength she shears. 

That Madison should be compared 

To Sampson, some may think it hard ; 

The contrast is too great that's given, 

Although I'm sure he will be shaven ; 

And when alliance cords do bind him, 

His masters then no doubt will blind him. 

Alas ! it seems some Gallic lady 

Has put out both his eyes already ; 

He can't discern a single star, 

To guide his course in this dark war ; 

The officers he sends abroad, 

Cannot command their troops a rod — 

O ! tell it not in Gath to one, 

Nor publish it in Askelon ! 



148 THE POST-BOY'S ADDRESS. 

Of things that's past I'll give a sketch o' them. 

Late feats of war, no matter which o' them ; 

I burn to mention that exploit, 

How Hull suiTender'd Fort Detroit. 

And how the Demo's all have curs'd him 

Because brave General Brock did worst him — 

Van Reuselaer fled from the field. 

And left his men to die or yield, 

Pretending to get force to aid them ; 

But here he says they disobey'd him — 

Would you hear Hopkin's expedition, 

With patriots arm'd and full provision? 

As mounted riflemen they were, 

They thought all Canada to scare ; 

Six hard days' march he did pursue 

That warlike tribe called Kickapoo ; 

But just before he got in sight o' them 

His troops all turn'd about in spite o' him — 

And as there was no foe to fear, 

Their glorious leader took the rear. 

What cost them six days' march 'tis true, 

They all retrac'd safe back in two. 

There 's our great Generalissimo ! 

He would take Canada you know ; 

" A strapping lad " the ladies doat on, 

Whene'er he gets his fine laced coat on — 

He rode at favorite Miss's call, 

Sixty miles south t' attend a ball ; 

But lest his laurels should be stain'd, 

One grand achievement he obtain'd — 



THE POST-BOY'S ADDRESS. 149 

A great discovery had been made ; 

A reconoit'ring party said. 

Close in behind a little wood, 

A bold menacing block-honse stood — 

Then he detach'd a host off-hand, 

And gave to Chandler the command ; 

A minute now must not be lost, 

They all with speed the river cross'd. 

The dire event ! they thought they'd risk it, 

And took the block-house and one musket ! 

Just so the}' think the} 7 'll take Quebec — 

One poor man only broke his neck. 

This stronghold they so fierce surrounded, 

Six of their own men there they wounded ! 

And if the papers do not lie, 

One of those wounded men did die. 

Then all return'd except some martyrs, 

Where Dearborn rests in winter quarters. 

But who could lead like General Smyth, 

His troops to conquest or to death ? ■ 

His standard place with courage brave, 

On great Montgomery's glorious grave ? 

Though our vain hero thus did boast, 

He, nor his troops, the river cross'd ; 

But thought it best to save their lives, 

By running home to see their wives, — 

And quitting thoughts of all invasions, 

Gave Congress back their proclamations ! 

His soldiers now can mock and hoot at 'em, 

And some have even dared to shoot at 'em. 



150 THE POST-BOY'S ADDRESS. 

So a great mountain travel'd sore, 

Brought forth a mouse, and did no more I 

God only knows what times will turn to, 

To every nation we're a scorn to. 

No facts nor reasoning can convince 

Our Lilliputian pu'rile prince. 

It seems to give him consolation, 

To see our country's degradation ; 

He thinks as men and means grow scarcer, 

'Twill only make them fight the fiercer. 

With England he keeps up the bustle, 

And goads them on by Agent Russell ; 

To all their force he bids defiance, 

And threatens them with French alliance, 

And conquests that forbid a peace, 

And says that wars shall never cease. 

And by his hotch-potch flimpsy speech, 

He'd make us think we're growing rich. 

If that were true, our patrons might 

Pay for their papers upon sight. 

Then I with pleasure round would steer, 

And carry news another year. 

There's one thing more, which all now tell us, 

We've yet some hardy, true, good fellows. 

Both Hull and Jones, and brave Decatur, 

Do marv'lous things upon the w r ater. 

They take, and sink, and kill like thunder ; 

The Britons brave, to them knock under. 

The demo's say, 'twill make up any day, 

For all we've lost, in taking- Canada : 



TO MISS HARRIET AYER. 151 

But here I must break off my soug — 
Good bye — I fear I've stay'd too long ; 
But I must give you oue verse more, 
Before I pass the outer door. 
Each Christian cry — Let God arise, 
And save our sinking nation ! 
'Tis only He, can set us free 
From chains and desolation. 



TO MISS HARRIET AYER* 



What poet could refuse to write, 
Sweet little Miss, when you invite? 
O ! might my soug your ear delight, 

And sense impart, 
And give your mind ideas bright, 

T' improve your heart. 

May that young heart, untaught to err, 
First learn its Maker to revere, 



* She was daughter of Peter Ayer of Haverhill, Mass. 
and had desired the Bard to write a few verses for her. 



152 TO MISS HARRIET AYER. 

And wisdom's peaceful paths prefer, 

And vice detest ; 
And flames of love to virtue fair, 

Glow in your breast. 

Your parents' counsels always mind, 
And to your tender bosom bind. 
Their soft rebukes and cautions kind, 

(From hearts of love), 
Like golden apples you shall find, 

Through life to prove. 

And like some beauteous flower in May, 
Let all your leaves through life display, 
Or, like the rose-bud opening gay, 

Unsullied bloom ; 
And your sweet innocence convey 

A rich perfume. 

May you, among your sisters fair, 
Blessings divine and temporal share, 
And grace the family of Ayer 

With modest charms ; 
And soon adorn with beauties rare, 

Some poet's arms. 

Should pensive dullness you betray, 
Then pore upon his pious lay, 
And chant his numbers night and day, 
With lightsome heart ; 



COME SMILING MUSE. 153 

'Twill drive your anxious cares away, 
And peace impart. 

Farewell, my little blushing maid, 

To whom this small respect is paid, 

May Heaven still guard the paths you tread, 

And make you blest ; 
'Till down your matron head be laid, 

In peace to rest. 



COME SMILING MUSE*. 



Come smiling muse extend thy wing, 
My friends demand a song ; 

Descend and strike the grateful string, 
For silence now is wrong. 

Their gift to me be ne'er forgot, 
I'll laud their gen'rous spirit, 

For whether it was due or not, 
'T was meant a sift to merit. 



* On January 22, 1813, a number of friends of his, 
mostly of Haverhill, Mass., " being favorably impressed 
with the political, moral, and sentimental effusions of 



154 COME SMILING MUSE. 

With heart of warmest gratitude, 

I'll register their names ; 
And first my Bettonf, kind and good, 

My highest notice claims. 

His eye sagacious first discerned 

Some beauties in my lays, 
Tho' rude, unpolish'd, and unlearn'd, 

He deigned to give them praise. 

High on my list I'll place the peer, 
By whom that book* was given, 

Which yields me my best comforts here, 
And all my hope of heav'n. 

Blest book, thy sacred page erect, 
Proud Atheists may disdain, 

God's spirit shall his truth protect, 
And Deists mock in vain. 

My female friends, a Seraph band ! 

I'll carefully enroll ; 
On my first page their names shall stand, 

Who oft transport my soul. 



the ' Rustic Bard,' " made him a handsome present as a 
token of their ; - respect for his genius and heart," which 
drew forth from him on April 26, 1813, the above poem. 

t Hon. Silas Betton. 

X Mr. Allen had given him a bible. 



COME SMILING MUSE. 155 

Then all those tender-hearted fair, 

Who think it no disgrace 
To lay my poems by with care 

In some sweet favorite place. 

They read " the poet's last farewell," 

And scarce can tears prevent, 
O ! does one lovely bosom swell 

And sigh when I lament? 

If sympathy has caus'd a tear 

To damp fair virtue's cheek, 
For me 'tis scarce a gift more dear 

Than o*old which misers seek. 



156 THE WHEELS OF TIME. 



SONG: THE WHEELS OF TIME* 



The wheels of time incessant rim 

As nature first intended, 
We scarce!} 7 know the year's begun 

Before we find it ended. 
With joy we see the morning sun, 

Meridian height's ascended, 
Though soon the ev'niug hour is gone, 

AVe profligately spend it. 

Some favorite object still we view, 

Which fortune still denies us ; 
The wished for pleasure we pursue, 

But still the phantom flies us. 
Perhaps the object is gained too, 

But soon dislike arises ! 
The fruitless chase we often rue, 

Although some one may envy us. 



* The above song was written in March, 1814, and it 
was enclosed in a letter to his uncle, Isaac Cochran of 
Antrim, N. H., April 16, 1814, and could be sung to the 
tune of the " Boyne water,'* 1 thus keeping in remem- 
brance one of the decisive victories in Ireland. All 
Europe was then in arms, determined to resist and over- 
throw that mighty genius of war and peace, Napoleon 



THE WHEELS OF TIME. 157 

Perhaps fair lady or a crown, 

Predominates the passion ; 
The pedant seeks a bishop's gown, 

Some trickster rule the nation. 
Each strives his rival to pull down 

To occupy his station ; 
The monarch seeks to gain renown 

By conquest or invasion. 

Behold the tyrant Bonaparte, 

As obdurate as Pharaoh ; 
By base intrigue and hellish art, 

Makes Europe to share all woe. 
Men's dying groans delight his heart, 

He's cruel as wicked Nero ! 
By fire and sword and pointed dart, 

He makes himself a proud hero. 

Pleas'd with his diabolic plan, 

By Madison he's aided ; 
Though worse than madness in the man 

See Canada invaded ! 
But take Quebec they never can, 



Bonaparte. In the last stanza be predicts the fall of the 
Emperor, as the poem was written some months before 
it occurred. The war then raging between this country 
and Great Britain was very unpopular in New England, 
and its management by President Madison and the lead- 
ers of our armies is sharply criticised by the poet. 



158 THE WEEELS OF TIME. 

With all their force paraded ; 

For like the chief of Michigan, 

Proud Hampton is degraded. 

Those Generals with unblushing face 

Could boast of power unbounded ; 
They now with shame their steps retrace. 

Poor Wilkinson's confounded ; 
He, Dearborn like, must leave his place, 

Or else he'll be surrounded ; 
Democracy's sunk in disgrace, 

And almost deadly wounded. 

We see the Dragon's power decrease, 

His hosts the ravens fatter ; 
His bloody empire soon will cease, 

For Mene Tekel 's written. 
Lift up your heads ye friends of peace, 

Your deadly foes are smitten ; 
The world shall find a sweet release, 

Since Bonaparte is taken. 



LINES ADDRESSED TO WEALTHY J. BETTON. 159 



LINES ADDRESSED TO 
MISS WEALTHY JOHNSON BETTON* 



When heav'n nectarious dews distil, 
Bright Phoebus' rays adorn the hills, 

And Nature's all in glory drest ; 
The flowery lawn aud blooming trees, 
The singiug birds and scented breeze, 

Inspire the raptur'd poet's breast. 



(It can be sung to the tune of Li Joe and Dearie 0." ) 

My fair young friend, I'll not pretend 

To paint thy virgin beauty O, 
Tho' every grace adorn thy face 

I think it not my duty O ; 
I love to view the roses' hue, 

The vi'let, pink, and lily O, 
Kind Nature's charms, my bosom warms, 

When fragrance sents the valley O. 



* She was daughter of Hon. Silas and Mary (Thorn- 
ton) Betton of Salem, N. H., and granddaughter of 
James Betton of Windham, N. H. She was born in 
Salem Feb. 19, 1792; married her first cousin, Ninian 
Clark Betton (see footnote of "The Answer"). She 
was a person of education and refinement, and the 



160 LINES ADDRESSED TO WEALTHY -J. BETTON. 

But charms like thine seem more divine, 

Surpassing aught in nature O ! 
With form complete, and carriage sweet, 

Embellishing each feature O. 
Let in thy breast contentment rest, 

And there the pearl called virtue O, 
With sense and wit, and never let 

Sweet innocence desert you O. 

Soon may you find a friend that's kind, 

Who knows thy worth to value O ; 
Whose pleasing art shall gain thy heart, 

A handsome honest fellow O. 
The happy lad, whom you shall wed, 

Let him be stout and healthy O ; 
With such a wife to bless his life, 

May he be wise and Wealthy O. 



Bard's letter and song gave her the liveliest satisfaction, 
which was expressed by her in a letter to Robert Dins- 
moor Aug. 5, 1814. 

The "Rustic Bard,'" in his letter written to her June 
9, 1814, says : 

" Though faith sma' cause hae I to sing, 
My muse dow scarcely spread her wing." 

It was written about the middle of May (1814), when 
the trees were in full bloom. That flowery season has 
been often celebrated as the most delightful and con- 
genial to youth, and also to the muses. 



RETROSPECT AFTER ILLNESS. 161 



RETROSPECT AFTER A FIT OF SEVERE 
ILLNESS. FEB. 4, 1815. 



When clown the stream of life we float, 

As in some sinking leaky boat, 

We're dash'cl on shoals and rocks remote. 

Half drown' d already ; 
Then haply rest our way, to note, 

In some kind eddy. 

Soon rushing freshets raise the flood, 
Again before the storm we scud, 
Till on some craggy point we thud — 

By tempests carried ; 
Or in some creek stuck fast in mud, 

In waves we're buried. 

Or, if perchance we keep the current, 
And ride upon the foaming torrent, 
We drive elate without a warrant, 

Far from the coast ; 
Till plung'd beneath the wave abhorrent, 

We're sunk and lost. 

So O'er the rapids I've been driven, 
With wind and tide I hard have striven, 



162 RETROSPECT AFTER ILLNESS. 

Bereft of ever} 7 hope but Heaven, 

I cried distress'd ; 
Yet I have found some respite given. 

To breath and rest. 



Then reason took her seat anew, 
At sight of her the spectres flew, 
A fairy host, infernal crew, 

All silent whist ; 
Soon from my bed my limbs I drew, 

Got up and dress'd. 

My wife and children, kind did tend me, 
With every aid they did befriend me ; 
With care they strove not to offend me, 

Now peevish grown ; 
Their very strength they seemed to lend me, 

When I had none. 

My diet was prepared complete, 
Thin water gruel little sweet, 
I beans and barley water ate — 

My only food ; 
Denied of bread and also meat, 

A fortnight good. 

Although I then was faint and feeble, 
Thank God, I now can head the table, 









RETROSPECT AFTER ILLNESS. 163 

And with my knife and fork, am able 

To cut or tear ; 
And with the rest can scrape and scrabble 

To get my share. 

But, oh ! I soon must leave this port, 
My bark unmoor'd again must start ; 
What seraph guard shall me escort 

To that bless'd shore ? 
Where friends of peace and love resort, 

To move no more ! 



164 FOURTH OF JULY IN CHESTER, N. H. 



THE FOURTH OF JULY, 1815, 
IX CHESTER, X. H*. 



Gentlemen, pray attend 
To the voice of a friend, 

Who would raise in his song with delight, 
The honor of those men, 
Who took up arms again 

To defend our loved state in her right. 

All along on our shore, 
We heard cannons roar, 

Our wives, children and friends to affright : 
When our borders and coasts 
Were lined with British hosts, 

Then you harness'd your limbs all to fight. 

Like true Washington's sons, 

You grasp'd your swords and guns, 



* The above poem was written by the "Rustic Bard'' 
in honor of a company of men, exempt from military 
duty, in Chester, X. H., who, during the last war with 
Great Britain, had organized and equipped themselves 
for the express purpose of defending the state from 
British invasion. Sung by said company at their cele- 
bration of Independence and peace in Chester, IST. H., 
July 4, 1815, to the tune, " The Bright God of Day." 



FOURTH OF JULY IN CHESTER, N. H. 165 

Undismay'd at the sound of alarm ; 
While bards can write or sing, 
Your patriot fame shall ring, 

Altho' peace calls you now to disarm. 

Let your banners display, 
On this auspicious day, 

Upon which our great nation was born ; 
Our foes are driven out, 
Let us the triumph shout, 

While we hail peace's welcome return. 

We'll rejoice in sweet peace, 
Let war and fighting cease, 

Since our foes from our shores are all gone ; 
But if enemies invade, 
We'll leave our plough and spade, 

And our armor again buckle on. 

No enemy shall stand 
In our beloved land, 

But each haughty oppressor shall flee ; 
We'll meet them on the field, 
Where they shall die, or yield, 

For our states are ordained to be free. 

If our country shall call, 
We will rise one and all, 

And we boldly will haste to the fight ; 
We'll vanquish ev'ry foe 



166 FOURTH OF JULY IN CHESTER, N. H. 

And let all Europe know, 

That 'tis death to infringe on our right. 

Cannons roar but in vain, 
We'll drive them o'er the main, 

Fearless all of a watery grave ; 
Our tars shall then pursue, 
And burn, and sink them too, 

And triumphantly ride on the wave. 

Let us praise the great power, 
Who protects us every hour, 

Who will clothe the invader with shame ; 
New England's God is He, 
AVho from bondage keeps us free, 

And hosauna we'll raise to His name. 

Here's a health to our state, 
May she be wise and great 

To our rulers, and officers all ; 
May our loving wives and fair, 
Still be our patriot's care, 

And our sons to our nation a Avail. 



THE LAST OF BONAPARTE. 167 



THE LAST OF BONAPARTE. 



Where's Bonaparte? — the question now occurs, 

Is he in Paris, or the federal city? 
Or is he houseless, without boots or spurs, 

Disguis'd, unknown, a beggar now for pity? 
Has Wellington the bloody tyrant caught? 

Does Blucher's arm arrest the fugitive ? 
Has death itself, with double vengeance fraught, 

Cut off his life, who ne'er deserv'd to live? 
O Bellerophon ! dost thou him enclose ? 

Does he to Maitland bow his haughty head, 
Yielding submissive to his conquering foes, 

And to a British prince for mercy plead ? 
Does he traverse Northumberland's huge deck, 

And far in ocean, with despairing eyes, 
Behold St. Helena, as 'twere a speck, 

With adamantine walls rais'd to the skies? 
While foaming billows round his mansion roll, 

And hope is lost in never-ending mist, 
Spectres and demons fright his haggard soul ! 

There Bertrand's wife and he may play at whist. 
Saint Helena ! thou pre-appointed spot, 

That holds the boasted emperor of the world ! 
There shall his olorv. like his carcase, rot, 



168 THE LAST OF BONAPARTE. 

From pride's high throne by Heaven indignant 
hurl'd. 
So, Lucifer, Omnipotence defied, 

And led created armies to rebel ! 
Though the foul spirit justly might have died, 

He anaws his chains now in the gulf of hell. 

Windham, October, 1815. 



AN OLD TEA-POT. 169 



TO THE EDITOR OF THE HAVERHILL 
GAZETTE AND PATRIOT. 



The following poem, sir, I send it, 

In hopes your honor will befriend it ; 

Some Scottish bard years since had pehn'd it, 

A picture true ; 
The theme itself must recommend it, 

Old times and new. 

" Rustic Bard." 



AN OLD TEA-POT 
DEC, 1815. 



Ye cracked, crazy, worthless ware, 
Ye're nearly done, I dinna care — 
Ye've robb'd me o' ten pun' an' mair. 

Sin' first I saw ye ; 
It's far ay out what I can spare, 

111 time befa' }^e. 

In days o' yore, lang past an' gone, 
The use o' you was little known, 
Nor did our ancestors think on 



170 AN OLD TEA-POT. 

This plant ca'd tea ; 
They had their paritch an' their sow'n, 
Ay twice a day. 

lint now the case is alter'd quite, 

Tea manu be had baith morn an' night, 

The warld's refin'd in a' men's sight — 

In a' men's view ; 
Naething that's ancient can be right, 

A' maun be new. 

An' now that tea and sugar dear, 
Doubly advanced, or very near. 
It's folly i' tli' extreme to hear 

0' country dames, 
Spending their money on sic cheer, 

They and their weans. 

Great folly i' th' extreme indeed, 
For then the butter an' the bread, 
Likewise the cream, I pray tak' heed, 

Stan's o' the ranks, 
Or else your tea's na worth a bead, 

No wordy thanks. 

An' then the time that's spent an' a' 
Still adds mair speed to our downfa', 
I canna bear the thoughts ava 

This mode o' life ; 
It ruins poor folk aue an' a' 

Man, wean, an' wife. 



AN OLD TEA-POT. 171 

Our auld forebears they liv'd right weel, 
Ou hamely fare, guid milk an' meal, 
Eight halesome food, for man or chiel, 

An' stout were they ; 
Nor pain, nor ache, did them assail, 

'Till latest day. 

Then were their lives free frae excess, 
Mark'd wi' content an' cheerfulness ; 
Nor luxuries had e'er access, 

Within their cot ; 
High life an' gaudiness o' dress, 

They valu'd not. 

Religion too was their delight, 

They sang an' pray'd baith morn an' night, 

An' cordial frienship did unite 

Them ane an' a' ; 
Nor envy, nor ambition's spite, 

Were known ava. 

Many's religion's but a fable, 

Gif they can keep a modish table, 

To eat an' drink weel while they're able, 

An' mak' a show ; 
These are the golden rules more stable, 

By which they go. 



172 THANKSGIVING DAY. 



THANKSGIVING DAY. 
DEC. 7, 1815. 



When corn is in the garret stored, 
And sauce in celler well secured, 
When good fat beef we can afford, 

And tilings that're dainty, 
With good sweet cider on our board, 

And pudding plenty; 

When stock, well housed, can chew their cud, 
And at my door a pile of wood, 
A rousing fire to warm my blood — 

(Dless'd sight to see), 
It puts my rustic muse in mood, 

To sing for thee. 

When we of health enjo} T a share, 
And feast upon some wholesome fare, 
Our hearts should rise in grateful prayer, 

And bless the donor ; 
In thankful songs, let voices rare, 

Exalt his honor. 

Perhaps in leisure hours you choose 
To pass the time, and to amuse, 
The Unitarian scheme peruse ; 



THANKSGIVING DAY. 173 

But, sir, take heed, 
Their subtle reasoning may confuse, 
And wreck your creed. 

Lowell and Channing may debate, 
As politicians, wise and great, 
Predict their country's future fate 

By reasoning clear ; 
And shew blind rulers of the State 

What course to steer ; 

But shall they teach us to degrade 

Him, who is all creation's Head? 

The mighty God, who all things made, 

Call Him a creature? 
Say Godhead never was display'd 

In human nature ! 

Whoe'er such doctrine well allows, 

Debar themselves from Christ's pure house ; 

Renouncing their baptismal vows, 

As vague and mean ; 
And infidelity espouse, 

As Deists clean. 

Though none can tell how this may be, 
That God is one, yet persons three, 
Existing from eternity, 

Faith must receive it ; 
'Tis nought but infidelity 

To disbelieve it. 



174 



THANKSGIVING DAY. 

Your parents own'd this doctrine true. 
And did their solemn vows renew, 
E'en when that name was call'd on you. 

With water shed ; 
Sprinkling like rain or sacred dew, 

Thine infant head. 

This doctrine our great teacher taught, 
To know this mystery, Williams sought, 
Though far surpassing human thought, 

He own'd it true ; 
And deem'd all other science nought, 

When this lie knew. 

As you, dear sir, must witness be, 

His pupils sang doxology — 

How oft you've seen his bended knee 

Embrace the ground, 
To Three in One, and One in Three, 

In prayer profound ! 

Like that great man, let you and I, 
Believe and practice, 'till we die — 
Nor God's electing love deny ; 

Then rise and reign 
With saints enthron'd above the sky. 

Amen, Amen. 



TO SILAS BETTON. 175 



ROBERT DJtfSMOOR TO SLLAS BETTON. 



Windham, Feb. 1, 1816. 

My Dear Friend : 

Agreeably to your request, and to fulfil a prom- 
ise I made you the last time 1 saw you, which to 
me seems a long time. I return you your original 
letters, with "The Last of Bonaparte." You will 
observe, when it was written, in the month of 
October last, reports were fluctuating with respect 
to Bonaparte and his destination. The Haverhill 
Intelligencer was the principal source of my informa- 
tion, I took things as they were stated, and frOni 
week to week kept writing and doubting, till at 
length 1 found he was fixed on the Island of 
St. Helena. I doubt whether any merit can 
justly be attached to the piece, yet I think it 
may serve as a kind of memorandum to those 
of my family and friends who may hereafter read 
my poems, and shew that the fall of that tyrant 
was not altogether unnoticed by me. I have also 
enclosed a short address to you, which was 
written last Thanksgiving Day. You will doubt- 
less recollect you told me you had become a 
religionist, and that you had in your custody the 



176 TO SILAS BETTON. 

whole controversy published between the Unitarian 
and Trinitarian clergy of Boston and its vicinity, 
which you said you were then at your leisure seri- 
ously perusing. This, sir, together with my own 
knowledge of you, from your infancy, and also of 
the religious sentiments of your worthy, honorable, 
and pious parents, and likewise of your learned 
and orthodox preceptor, our late pastor, the Rev. 
Simon Williams, under whose tuition you w T ere 
fitted for college, will, I trust, sufficiently apologize 
for my addressing you on that subject, as I have 
done. One thing 1 will just mention to you, which 
I well remember, and dare sa}^ you have not for- 
gotten it. When the whole congregation, as was 
then the custom, had sung the portion of psalms 
given out and read by that good old man, he w r ould 
arise and present Hue by line a Doxology, which I 
am persuaded was of his own making, for I have 
never found it just so in any book — 

"To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
The God whom we adore, 
Be honor, glory, power and praise 
Ascrib'd for evermore." 

This he did at the close of divine worship for a 
number of Sabbaths. My uncle Cochran* and I 
were then the clerks, and felt obliged to siug ; but 
all the rest of the society, or the principal part of 
them, sat mute ; and before we could get through, 



TO SILAS BETTON. 177 

the elders, with a number more of our (I was going- 
to say superstitious) old fathers, although I hope, 
aud believe, they are now in heaven, would be out 
of the meeting-house, crying Popery! Popery! — 
He means to bring us all under the Church of 
England yet ! 

I intended to have copied your letters. I depend 
upon having them all again. They are a treasure 
I wish to leave to my family, and I assure you my 
book looks as if it had lost half its body, and I am 
sure it has lost two- thirds of its soul. It will be 
in your power, in due time, to restore what is 
wanting in both, and even to add to its dignity and 
lustre. 

Accept, sir, my sincere love, and give the same 
to every one of your family, who regard me. 
When you have an opportunity, remember me to 
the Orphan. 



* Isaac Cochran, Revolutionary soldier from Windham, 
N. H., afterwards lived in Antrim, N. H., was bom 
April 23, 1742; died Aug. 21, 1825. 



178 



TO MRS. AGNES PARK 



TO MRS. AGNES, WIFE OF DR. JOHN PARK, 
ON RECEIVING FROM HER A COPY OF 
« WAVERLY." 



Dear madam, deign the muse to bear, 
Though sounds uncouth may grate your ear. 
And let rusticity appear, 

Devoid of art ; 
Then gratitude shall flow sincere, 

Warm from the heart. 

Thanks to that generous heart of thine, 
Which made that charming volume mine, 
Where Highland honor, drawn so fine, 

Our hearts improve ; 
'.That doth in gallant actions shine, 

Or feats of love. 

Through all intelligent creation, 
The savage tribe, or polish'd nation, 
In every age, or place, or station, 

Or weak, or strong, 
They differ just by education 

'Bout right and wrong. 

Something like virtues 's found in all, 
And what some may religion call, 



TO MRS. AGNES PARK. 179 

Which iufmitely short may fall — 

But what the matter? 
Few stripes they'll get, or none at all, 

That know no better. 

The highest pedigree I plead — 

A Yankee born — true Scottish breed, 

Sprung from the Laird of Achenmead — 

His name, Dinsmoor, 
Who dwelt upon the banks of Tweed, 

In days of yore. 

Let us that Providence adore, 
Though loud Atlantic billows roar, 
Which took our sires from Albion's shore, 

Or Scotia's strand, 
And brought their offspring safely o'er 

To this bless'd land. 

Farewell, my friend — my song must cease ; 
Long may you live in health and ease ; 
May no fell demon spoil your peace, 

With sighs and sobbing ; 
And while you shall remain my niece, 

I'm uncle Robin. 



180 TO REV. DAVID M'GREGORE. 



ANSWER TO THE LETTER OF DEC. 30, 1816, 
OF REV. DAVID M'GREGORE* OF BEDFORD, 
X. H. 



My rev'rend friend, and kind M'Gregore, 
Although thou ne'er was ca'd a bragger, 
Thy muse I'm sure nane e'er was glegger- 

Thy Scottish lays 
Might gar Socinians fa' or stagger, 

E'en in their days. 

When Unitarian champions dare thee, 
Goliah like, and think to scare thee, 
Dear Davie, fear na,' they'll no waur ye ; 

But, draw thy sling, 
Weel loaded, frae the Gospel quarry, 

Syne gie't a fling. 

What though the proud gigantic foe, 
Should by fause reasoning strive to show. 
An' lay our Saviour's honors low, 



* Rev. David McGregore was born in Londonderry, 
X. H., and was a great-grandson of Rev. James McGreg- 
ore, the first minister there, who came from Aghado- 
wey, County of Londonderry, Ireland, to that place in 
1719. For his first wife he married in 1805 Ann, daugh- 



TO REV. DAVID M'GREGORE. 181 

Baith bauld an' fierce — 
Then let the Heaven directed blow, 
His frontlet pierce. 

Tent weel, ye're set to guard the truth, 
Ye'll fin' fause teachers sly an' smooth, 
But clap the trumpet to thy mouth, 

An' gie th' alarm ; 
The sound, by some, though ca'd uncouth, 

May save frae harm. 

If we can trust what Scripture saith, 
Christ is our God, an' Saviour baith, 
Then let us fix our hope an' faith 

On that foundation ; 
Wha trusts aught else, maun sink in death, 

An' deep damnation ! 

Let you an' I, in sweet accord, 

To Christ our highest praise afford ; 

'Tis sure his right to be ador'd, 

As God of all ! 
Let every creature to the Lord, 

In worship fall ! 

" Rustic Bard." 



ter of John, and granddaughter of John and Margaret 
(Kamil) Orr, who came from Ireland in 1726. She died 
the following year; he died in Falmouth, Me., Oct. 18, 
1845, aged 74 years. (From History of Bedford, N. H.) 



182 THE FROSTED CORN. 



THE FROSTED CORN*. 



Dear Silas, but I'm wae to hear, 

How frost destroy'd your corn las' year, 

An' pits ye now in sic a fear, 

About your bread ; ' 
Nor eau your crowdie caudron steer, 

'Till ye get seed. 

Your plea sae pithy an' sae pure, 
'Tis just the scripture, I am sure ; 
To liberal sauls, the words secure : 

I'll no deny thee, 
Since thou art rank'd among the poor, 

I maun supply tbee. 

1 aye was free wi' a' my might, 
To help the poor dependant wight, 
Nor wad I drive him out at night, 

Amaug the snaw ; 
To warm his bluid, I took delight, 

An' fill his maw. 



* Silas Betton of Salem, N. EL, wrote a letter to 
Robert Dinsmoor on March 29, 1817, in which he said: 
" I want to buy, borrow, or beg a half a bushel of good 



THE FROSTED CORN. 188 

Although my corn's baith poor and scant,, 
I'm sure your honor sha'na want ; 
I canna see thy wame look gaunt, 

That aye look'd fu' ; 
At your request twa pecks I'll grant, 

The best that grew. 

Sure fortune's an unsteady wheel,. 
That constantly maun row an ; reel„ 
An' gar ane that's sae rich a ehiel,. 

Begin to dread, 
Lest he the pangs o' poortith feel, 

An' lack o' bread. 

You wha o' walth might been a bragger r 
Doth poortith point at you his dagger? 
An' gar your faith an' hope baith stagger^ 

Wi' heart sair grievin' ; 
An' turn you fairly out a beggar,. 

To seek your livin' ? 

Thy noble saul for honor born, 

To stoop sae laigh might think it scorn r 



seed corn. I should prefer the latter. The OFder of 
nature totally rendered mine unfit for use. You have 
enough ; Let me have some, remembering when youi 
give to the poor you lend to the Lord." This letter 
drew from the poet the above poem, in the Scotch 
dialect, his mother tongue, dated April 5, 1817. 



184 THE FROSTED CORN. 

'Twad pierce uiy heart like any thorn, 

In need to see thee. 
Thou ne'er shall want a peck o' corn, 

While I can gie thee. 

Soon planting time will come again, 
Syne may the heavens gie us rain, 
An' shining heat, to bless ilk plain, 

An' fertile hill ; 
An' gar the loads o' yellow grain, 

Our garrets fill. 

Then smiling wives wi' a' their brood, 
Shall grace our board in jovial mood, 
An' wi' us sup the luscious^food, 

Like Yankees true, 
Syne we will praise the name o' Glide, 

AVhen we are fu\ 

Shame fa' the Queen, that dares despise it, 
The King himsel' might highly prize it ; 
'Tis healsome fare for ane that tries it, 

Wi' Hawkies milk ; 
She's but a gawkie that denies it, 

Though dress'd in silk. 

As lang as I hae food an' claithing, 
An' still am hale, an' fier, an' breathing, 



ADIEU TO MRS. BETSEY HOPKINS. 185 

Ye's get the corn — an' may be aething, 

Ye'll do for me ; 
(Though God forbid) — hang me for nothing, 

Without a fee.* 



ADIEU TO MRS. BETSEY (DINSMOOR) 
HOPKINS.f 



My dear young friend, it much doth grieve us, 
To think that you so soon must leave us, 
And bid farewell to parents dear, 
And all the friends that you have here ; 
And take your journey to the west 
To seek a home where you may rest. 
Although the thing is not uncommon, 
'Tis just the way of man and woman ; 
For thus it was ordained of old, 
As by the Scripture we are told, 



* Mr. Betton was at this time High Sheriff, and had in 
some letter intimated that possibly he might be called, 
in his official capacity, to perform the duty of hangman 
tow a I'd the Bard. 

f John Dinsmoor, a brother of Robert Dinsmoor, lived 
in Windham, N. H., on the farm, near Jenny McGregor's 



186 ADIEU TO MRS. BETSEY HOPKINS. 

A man shall both his parents leave 

And closely to his wife shall cleave ; 

Two shall be one, God did declare, 

And none shall part the happy pair. 

So Abram, by the Lord's command, 

Took his wife Sarai by the hand 

And went like pilgrims both together 

To seek a place they knew not whither. 

Then wherefore should we think it strange 

That you o'er mountains green should range, 

And set your face to Hudson's strand, 

Like Abram to the promised land ? 

O ! may that spirit be your guide 

That guarded Abram and his bride, 

And brought them to a wealthy place 

And gave it to their future race. 

No ill befel thein on the road 

For Abram was " the friend of God." 

May that great patriarch's God be yours, 

Whose mercy without end endures ; 



hill, owned in 1898 by Joseph T. Hunnewell. He married 
Oct. 27, 1791, Isabella Hemphill of Windham. Their 
daughter, Betsey (or Elizabeth) Dinsmoor, was horn 
April 14, 1794; married April 29, 1817, James Hopkins, 
born on the Alpheus Goodwin farm in Windham Nov. 
27, 1789, and they removed to Plymouth, Ohio, where 
her children live and where she died March 21, 1871, 
aged 79 years. At her request the above lines were 
written by the '"Rustic Bard*' Feb. 10, 1818, and pre- 
sented to her on the morning that she and her husband 
left Windham for the state of New York. 



ADIEU TO MRS. BETSEY HOPKINS. 187 

None else but he can worship claim, 
Erect an altar to his name ; 
There let your prayers and praise arise, 
Like morn and evening sacrifice. 
On this great point I'll not enlarge, 
'Twas just your brother's dying charge ; 
For Samuel* in the hour of death 
Impress'd it with his dying breath, 
And laid on me strong obligations, 
To make this known to his relations. 
Let true religion be your care, 
Where'er you live, no matter where, 
Fear God, and think of death betimes, 
Hate sin, and turn from all your crimes, 
Commit your souls to Christ in love, 
That you may reign with him above. 



* Samuel Dinsmoor, own brother of Mrs. Hopkins, 
was born Dec. 22, 1795, and died Jan. 10, 1818, aged 
22 yrs. 19 days. 



188 TO HENRY DAVIDSON. 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO DEA. HENRY 
DAVIDSON.* 



Windham, April, 1818. 
Dear Sir : 

I have received three letters from you since you 
left this town last. The first was written on the 
5th of April, the anniversary day that called my 
dear daughter Jane, and your beloved wife, to the 
world of spirits ! Your lines on that occasion were 
affecting and pathetic. I am well pleased with the 
motto inscribed on Jane's gravestone. I wrote the 
following epitaph as a small memento for her. If 
you think it worthy, you may give it a place among 
your manuscripts — and keep it as a remembrance 
for her and me. It is thus prefaced : 

In memory of Jane Wear Davidson, ivife of Mr. 
Henry Davidson, of Belfast, Me. : and eldest 
daughter of Dea. Robert Dinsmoor, of Windham, 
N. H., ivho died April 5, 1817, in the 34th year 
of her age. She left her husband and three small 
children — two sons and a daughter. 



* He was born Jan. 30. 1783 ; married Jane Wear Dins- 
moor Oct. 3, 1809, and died Jan. 26, 1864, in Belfast, Me. 



TO HENRY DAVIDSON. 189 

Beneath this stone, here lies alone, 

A loving husband's pride. 

In prime of life, the virtuous wife, 

And tender mother died : 

Her dear remains, this grave retains, 

From father's house afar, 

Beyond our view, her spirit flew, 

Bright twinkling like a star. 

A Christian she — her soul set free, 

Fled from this gloomy shore, 

To worlds of light — and glory bright, 

Where hopes and fears, and pains and tears. 

And death, are known no more ! 

Although Jane was my own daughter, and not- 
withstanding all I have written, I think that some- 
thing more is justly due to her character. I know 
she was an affectionate and dutiful child, possessing 
a tender and truly benevolent heart. She was the 
eldest of thirteen children. In the 16th year of her 
age, by the death of her mother, she was left at the 
head of the ten that survived. The care of my 
young children, and the affairs of my house, she 
then undertook with the fortitude of an experienced 
matron ; and was really a pattern of economy, 
frugality and industry. She made a public pro- 



She was born Oct. 17, 1783; died in Waldo, Me., April 
5, 1817. For his 2d wife he married her sister, Sarah 
Dinsmoor, born Dec. 28, 1789 ; died March 24. 1864. 



190 TO HENRY DAVIDSON. 

fession of religion at an earl} 7 age, and through 
the whole of her subsequent life, true piet} T was 
stamped on her conduct. And in charity, I believe, 
she was a "Christian indeed." How often does 
my imagination cause me to view my dear Jane 
heaving her last gasp — breathing out her soul to 
God — her eyes closed in death ! Stretched out a 
lifeless corpse ! Shrouded and placed in a coffin ! 
Then I follow her bier to the grave — look into the 
dismal cell, — where, with a sound of horror, she 
takes her last abode ! Then, turning back, I bid 
my child farewell ! 

Imagination paints the solemn scence — 

I view the bed of my expiring Jane ; 

With soul serene, faith beaming in her eye, 

I see in her, a loving Christian die ; 

A mortal paleness fixt upon her cheek, 

With quivering lip, her tongue forbears to speak ; 

Her pulses cease ! — -She gasps in vain for breath, 

And shuts her eyes fast in the sleep of death ! 

While dust to dust, she mingles with the dead, 

On seraph wings, to God, her spirit fled ! 

To her remains, a just respect is paid ; 

I see her shrouded — in a coffin laid ; 

Her weeping friends perform each funeral rite ; 

The lid and grave cloth hides her from my sight. 

With pensive step and many a falling tear, 

I in procession follow close her bier. 



TO 3ARAH DAVIDSON. 191 

Her dear remains descend the yawning cell — 
With aching heart I bid my child farewell ! 
Death lost its sting — the grave no victory won ; 
Thanks be to God — she conqner'cl through his Son ! 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SARAH DAVIDSON* 



Windham, Sept. 21, 1819. 
My Dear Sally : 

Let it not surprise you to find this a writing from 
me. I could have given it to you with my own 
hand at home, but I was afraid it might affect 
you too much. I thought it more my duty to brace 
you up, and eucourage you to persevere in the 
course you have taken, than to melt your heart 
with grief, and damp your fortitude with the idea 
of never seeing me again. Although there is an 
impression of this kind on my mind, yet I hope 
I shall be disappointed in my expectation. The 



* She was born in Windham, N. H., Dec. 28, 1789, and 
married Dea. Henry Davidson, as his 2d wife, and 
removed to Belfast, Me., where she died March 26, 1864. 



192 TO SARAH DAVIDSON. 

enclosed lines are in the form of u A Farewell,'" 
set to the tune of "Major Andre's Farewell." I 
do not think them at all elegant, nor to be com- 
pared with those of which they seem to be a little 
in imitation. Nor yet do I think them equal to 
what I once could have done. You will consider 
they were written abruptly, and you must therefore 
make allowances, and accept of them, and keep 
them as a small remembrancer from me. I was 
here just about to sign my name ; but I must 
remind you of one thing, which perhaps you never 
thought of, and it may seem strange — it is this : 
You are my fifth daughter and my sixth child, and 
you and I have lived more days and years, in one 
family together, than ever I lived in a family, with 
father, mother, wife, child, or friend. And you 
know we have ever been at peace with one another 
— and I pray that the God of peace may be with 
you. 



TO THE BRANCH CHURCH. 193 



ADDRESS* TO THE BRANCH CHURCH, IN 
SALEM, MASS. MARCH 13, 1819. 






Fair blooming branch, ordain'd to be 

A graft in that illustrious tree, 

Whose boughs shall stretch out to the sea, 

O'erhung with fruit ; 
Wherejgrace, like rivers running free, 

Bedews the root ! 

Then let this branch forever be, 
Injbeauty like the olive tree ; 
While all in sweetest harmony, 

And order shine ; 
Whose roots like Lebanon agree, — 

Her smell like wine. 

O ! may this branch still flourish fair, 
Beneath the great Jehovah's care ; 
And may a pious Blatchford's prayer, 

For it be heard ; 
'Till righteousness in clusters rare, 

Hisjwork reward ! 

* This poem was written after the installation of 
Rev. Mr. Blatchford, as pastor of the Branch Church, 
on which occasion the Bard attended, as a member 
of^the Londonderry Presbytery. 



194 TO THE BRANCH CHURCH. 

And may no barren branch be found, 
To grieve his heart or cause a wound ; 
But living fruit on it abound, 

By grace divine ; 
And peace and love, still flow around, 

Like milk and wine ! 

Long may this branch in Salem grow, 
A type of heavenl}' peace below ; 
And God all needful grace bestow, 

And bless you still ; 
And guard you safe from every foe, 

To Zion's hill ! 



TO SILAS BETTON. 195 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO SILAS BETTON*. 
MARCH 19, 1819. 



Dear man ! and did you suffer so, 
With cold and rain, and driving snow? 
O ! why did j t ou so careless go 

Without your cloak, 
That sleet might in upon you blow, 

And make you choke ? 

Why did you not conclude to tarry, 
And lodge all night in Londonderry? 
Was it that you might be with Mary, 

Your loving wife — 
That through such dangers you did worry, 

And risk'd your life? 

I'm sure your ride could not be pleasing, 
With fingers numb and almost freezing ; 
The cold upon your vitals seizing, 



* Mr. Betton when riding home from Londonderry- 
one very stormy night, and being without an outward 
coat, suffered considerably and took a severe cold. And 
though he had without medical aid, kept about during 
the spring and attended to his farming concerns, he per- 
ceived he should not get rid of his cold, and the unpleas- 



196 TO SILAS BETTON. 

All chilling through — 
No doubt your windpipe stuff'd aud wheezing, 
Near breathless grew. 



In such a plight for you to buckle, 

And with the " king of terrors " struggle ; 

To the " grim beast " you would not truckle 

Though " siugle handed " ! 
Strange that you were not made to knuckle, 

But bravely stand it ! 

Though you escaped his fangs but hardly, 
I'm pleas'd to think you made him parley, 
'Till you could sow your oats and barley, 

And peas and wheat ; 
And plant your corn, so nice and early, 

For bread to eat. 

I think it madness in the man, 
Who would lie down if he could stand, 
.And swallow drugs when'er he can 



• ant cough that attended it, without putting himself 
under the care of a physician, which he calls fighting 
v the.;grim monster, death, single-handed; but expresses 
> his determination to do this as soon as the weather be- 
come milder, and he himself released from the pressure 
'Of business. And further makes an offer of some seed 
corn to Mr. Dinsmoor, this being from the coldness of 
the former season, an article of difficult procurement. 
To this letter this poem was the Bard's reply. 



TO SILAS BETTON. 191 

Get time to do it ! 
" Gae fa' upo' anither plan," 
Or else you'll rue it. 

The generous offer of your corn,. 
I never wish'd to slight or scorn ;. 
My heart as true as e'er was born,. 

Could not refuse it ; 
As mine was dropp'd that very morn 

I could not use it. 

Though times then look'd both dark and drear ^ 
And nought like seed-time did appear, 
We've liv'd almost another year ; 

Nor lack we food ; 
Then never let us yield to fear — 

The Lord is good. 

We live upon His bounteous care,, 
He rules the seasons of the year ; 
Nor can we make a single hair, 

Or white or black. 
Seed-time and harvest, promis'd fair, 

He'll not take back. 

We'll eat and drink, and cheerful take 
Our portions, for the Donor's sake ; 
For thus the Word of Wisdom spake ; 
" Man can't do better — 



198 TO JAMES NEWHALL. 

Nor can we, by our labors, make 
The Lord a debtor." 

A sullen saiut, if such can be, 
Is sure a hideous sight to see ; 
Hope sets the Christian's conscience free 

From black despair : 
With peaceful hearts let thee and me, 

For death prepare. 



ANSWER TO JAMES NEWHALL* 

THE "MINSTREL OF NASHUA." 

JAN. 31, 1820. 



Dear minstrel of the Nashua, 

Thy chording numbers charm my ear ; 
Thy vocal strains can cheer the day, 

And banish winter's stormy fear ! 



He was a teacher of music in Windham in 1821. 



TO JAMES NEWHALL. 199 

II. 

'Though chill the air, and cold 's the blast, 
That hurls the snowy tempest round, 

Songs, peace, and plenty 're our repast, 
And spring shall with new joys abound. 

Hi- 
Welcome sweet minstrel, welcome here, 

To teach rusticity thine art ; 
Thine accents swell the bursting tear! 

Thy music thrills through every heart ! 

IV. 

New-Hampshire bards shall catch the song, 
And Windham fair shall chant thy lays ; 

The flowery spring shall come ere long, 
Nor foes disturb our happy days. 



Sweet harmony with echoes shrill, 

From Nashua's rosy banks shall wake ! 

Resounding back from Jenny's Hill, 

Shall sweep o'er Gobbet's peaceful lake ! 

VI. 

Then bard and minstrel both shall join, 
With nature's choristers, and sing 

Anthems of praise, and song divine, 
To nature's God, our Saviour King. 



200 TO JAMES NEWHALL. 



TO JAMES NEWHALL, "MINSTREL OF 
NASHUA." FEB. 11, 1820. 



I. 

Dear sir, I deem it sweet employ, 

AVith you to sing, and pray, and praise ;, 

And in God's bouse it gives me joy, 
To hear the Minstrel's sacred lays. 

II. 

As far as Christian heralds rove, 

O'er foreign wilds, and distant plains, 

There some Newhall, or sacred grove, 
Shall ring with thine immortal strains ! 

III. 

Thy hymn, that first in Windham 'rose, 
On missionary wings shall soar, 

From Hampshire hills, now clad with snows,. 
To mounts, on Afric's sultry shore ! 

IV. 

There barb'rous tribes of sable hue, 
Enwrapt, shall own Immanuel's name ; 

And temples filled with converts new, 
A Saviour's honors shall proclaim ! 



TO ISAAC COCHRAN. 201 

V. 

To bless the name of Zion's King, 

We'll join in sweet harmonious strains ! 

Let all the earth in concert sing, 

Our God, the great Redeemer, reigns ! 

" Rustic Bard." 



A SCRAP.— ROBERT DINSMOOR TO DEA. ISAAC 
COCHRAN, OF ANTRIM, N. H., HIS MOTHER'S 
BROTHER, WHO WAS A LIEUT. AT THE 
TAKING OF GEN. BURGOYNE, OCT. 17, 1777. 
A SHORT REVIEW OF THAT EXPEDITION*. 
WINDHAM, N. II., MAY 12, 1820. 



My faithful friend, and uncle, kind, 

I would bring some things to your mind, 

Which still impress'd on mine I find, 

By recollection ; 
That seems my heart with yours to bind, 

In strong affection. 



* This was not the first campaign they had been in the 
war together. 



202 TO ISAAC COCHRAN. 

From my first dawn of life you've known me ; 
When nature on the world had thrown me, 
You did a first-born nephew own me, 

Or younger brother ; 
And friendship ever siuce have shown me, 

Kind like my mother. 

Childhood and youth, manhood and age, 
You've been my friend in every stage ; 
Sometimes in sport we would engage 

Our nerves to try ; 
Sometimes, t' explore the music page, 

The genius ply. 

When British laws would us enthral, 
Our country for defence did call ; 
Then martial fire inspir'd us all, 

To arms we flew ; 
And as a soldier, stand or fall, 

I went with you ! 

O'er western hills we travell'd far, 
Pass'd Saratoga, the site of war, 
Where Burgoyne roll'd his feudal car, 

Down Hudson's strand ; 
And Gates, our glorious western star, 

Held high command. 

From the green ridge, we glanc'd our eyes, 
Where village flames illum'd the. skies, 



TO ISAAC COCHRAN. 203 

Destruction there was do surprise, 

On Hudson's shore ! 
Though smoke in burning pillars rise, 

And cannous roar ! 

But to Fort Edward* we were sent, 
Through icy Bartenskiln we went, 
And on that plain we pitched our teut, 

'Gainst rain and snow ; 
Our orders there, was to prevent 

The flyiug foe. 

By counter orders, back we came, 
And cross'd the Hudson's rapid stream, 
At Schuyler's Mills t, of no small fame, 

Thence took our post, 
Near Burgoyne's line, with fixed aim, 

To take his host ! 

With courage bold we took the field, 

Our foes no more their swords could wield, 

God was our strength, and He our shield, 

A present aid ! 
Proud Burgoyne's army there did yield, 

All captive made ! 



* Fort Edward lies on the east side of the river, 
twelve miles above Saratoga. 

f Then called Fort Miller — the remains of the old fort 
were then to be seen. 



204 TO ISAAC COCHRAN. 

Great Britain's honor there was stain'd, 
We sang a glorious victory gain'd ! 
From hence our States a rank obtain'd, 

'Mongst nations great ; 
Our future glory was ordain'd, 

As sure as fate ! 

To Windham back with joy we turn'd, 
Where parents dear our absence mourn'd ; 
And our fair friends in rapture burn'd, 

To see our faces ! 
Sweet pearly drops their cheeks adorn'd, 

In our embraces ! 

When all our vanquish'd foes were fled, 
Love, peace, and harmony were shed, 
Like oil descending on the head, 

Or milk or wine ; 
Williams*, the man of God, us fed 

With food divine. 

O ! let not you and I forget, 
How often we've together met, 
Like Heman and Jeduthont, set 

In God's own house ; 
And solemnly his table at, 

Renew'd our vows ! 



* Rev. Simon Williams. 

t The two principal leaders of the singing in the Con- 
gregation. 



THE RESPONSE. 205 

And when the sacred scene was past, 

We sang Doxology at last, 

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 

United Three ! 
One God our souls redeemed hast, 

So let it be ! 

While reason in her seat remains, 

And blood runs streaming through my veins, 

Or memory her power retains, 

I shall review, 
And think upon the various scenes, 

I've pass'd with you. 



THE RESPONSE * 



My dear Miss Swan, I am a man 
Of tenderness and feeling ; 

Your pleasing call, I answer shall, 
And think it honest dealing. 



*On March 23, 1820, Miss Martha Swan, of Belfast, 
Me., a teacher, whose mother was Jennet (Dinsmoor) 
Swan, an own cousin of the " Rustic Bard " and daugh- 
ter of John Dinsmoor, who lived upon the John Kelley 



206 THE RESPONSE. 

To please the fair, shall be my care, 
By whom the muse is flatter'd ; 

On female friends, my fame depends, 
That here and there are scattered. 

The modest ear, I wish to cheer, 
With wit and sense compounded ; 

But think it fit, to spurn the wit, 
Where delicacy is wounded ! 

What though I'm old, and blood grows cold, 
Thy young kind heart can warm me ; 

I feel no pain, I'm young again, 
When thy fair virtues charm me. 

Thy kind address, I must confess, 

I never had expected ; 
Nor dreamt my la}^s, had met thy praise, 

Or e'er thy breast affected. 

When you invite, O ! could I write 

Well suited to your station, 
Some lesson sage, to improve your age, 

And gain your approbation. 



farm in East Windham, addressed a letter to the poet 
and requested a poetical production, which called for 
this poem. Miss Swan was born in Methuen, Mass., 
Dec. 17, 1792; married, Oct. 24, 1822, Dr. James 
Swan of Methuen, Mass. He died in Springfield, Mass., 
in 1846. She died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. 
J. L. Kilbon of Lee, Mass., April 8, 1890, aged 103 yrs. 
3 mos. 22 days. The Hard's letter was dated Sept., 1820. 



THE RESPONSE. 207 

Plac'd as you are, I'm glad to hear, 

Your task affords enjoyment ; 
The active mind, can always find, 

Some pleasure in employment. 

When 'round your hand, thy pupils stand, 

All plac'd by your direction, 
Then pious maid, seek Heavenly aid, 

To further your instruction. 

Some say " we need to learn no creed, 

To all there's reason given, 
That nature's light, will guide us right, 

And point the road to Heaven ! 



i " 



They '11 Christ degrade, who all things made, 

And call him but a creature ! 
Though " God with us," they 'd sink him thus,. 

Below the eternal nature ! 

Such doctrine sure, is most impure, 

'Tis false, and vain, and idle ! 
But Atheist's teach, and Deists preach, 

Right contra' to the Bible. 

Then bend the twig, before 'tis big, 

The tender Osier's pliant, 
Give it the bow, lest it should grow, 

As stubborn as a giant. 



208 THE RESPONSE. 

Train up a child, however wild, 
The right wa} T make him take it, 

Then when he's old, you know we're told, 
He never will forsake it ! 

Your powers exert, to improve the heart, 

And give it understauding ; 
You'll happy be, when you shall see, 

Young minds like flowers expandiug ! 

'Tis not your part, to change the heart, 

You never cau renew it ; 
To work a change, so great and strange, 

There 's none but God can do it ! 

'Tis just our place to trust his grace, 
To seek his face and favor ; 

For " God is love," he reigns above, 
"His mercy lasts forever ! " 

God bless your life, a maid or wife, 
As Providence shall have it ; 

Then may you rest, in Heav'n at last, 
I on my knees will crave it. 



A FAREWELL TO MISS MARY E. DINSMOOR. 209 



A FAREWELL TO MISS MARY ELIZA DINS- 
MOOR, OF KEENE, THE BARD'S NIECE, 
AFTER A VISrT TO HER FRIENDS IN 
WINDHAM. JUNE 13. 1821. 



My dear young friend, I thank you for your visit, 
Life's joys are fleeting — happiness, what is it? 
Farewell, my niece — to part is sure our lot, 
Soon you'll forget me — and you'll be forgot ! 
Your uncle shortly in the dust must sleep ; 
Then for his sake this small memento keep. 
May you ne'er meet with fortune's adverse throws, 
Nor frost untimely nip your blooming rose ; 
May God protect you o'er life's boisterous sea, 
And land you safe in blest eternity. 



210 TO REV. WILLIAM FROTHLNGHAM. 



TO REV. WILLIAM FROTIIIXGH AM.* 
DEC, 1821. 



My late ken'd frien' o' reverend fame, 
Saf to my kail' those verses came, 
Compos'd by some auld farrau dame. 

The wale o' muses ; 
Tlie Ayrshire poet's deathless fame, 

Sweetly she rooses. 

Fair poetess, whar' does she dwell? 
On moorland, mount, or flowery dell? 
Whas sweet harmonious numbers swell. 

To Burn's honor ! 
If ken'd by me, I'd ware mysel', 

Some notes upon her. 



* The Bard's answer to Rev. William Frothingham 
was published in Belfast in the following manner: — 
" For the Hancock Gazette. Linps written by a gentle- 
man to a friend in this town, after receiving from him 
a copy of the 'Address to Robert Burns,' which was 
printed in the Belfast Gazette, some time since; with a 
request that he would send him 'Mrs. Hamilton's Com- 
pact with Old Age,' which appeared in one of the 
Christian Disciples for the last year." 



TO REV. WILLIAM FROTHINGHAM. 211 

Our restlin's bards their gabs may steek, 
She waurs them a' as clean's a leek, 
An' wi' her native genius sleek, 

Parnassus speels ; 
And lea's auld Latin bards an' Greek, 

A' at her heels. 

I doubt na she's a Gorham lady, 
Sprang frae a Caledonian daddy, 
Wha in auld Scotia's tongue sae ready, 

Attunes sic lays, 
An' taks frae bards in highland plaid y, 

Their laurel bays. 

Were she some Aborigine squaw, 
That sings so sweet by nature's law, 
I'd meet her in a hazle shaw, 

Or some green loany, 
An' mak' her, tawny phiz an' a' 

My welcome crony. 

But aiblins she's some bourne dear, 
Whas wit an' beauty few can peer, 
Though words like masculine appear, 

Might gar ane rue ; 
Shamefa' her jugs, for maist I fear, 

She '11 whiles get fou' ! 

The bonnie present ye hae made me, 
Has under obligations laid me ; 



212 TO KEV. WILLIAM FROTHINGHAM. 

Ob ! wad the muses deign to aid me, 

To sing an' rhyme ; 
Soon should a recompense be paid ye, 

In chords sublime. 

But gif ye like to please your Men', 
Though our acquaintance short has been, 
Ye'll sen' me neist the gargain 'tween 

Auld age, an' youth ; 
Whar' Lucky barter'd off her een, 

An' her last tooth. 



MY TRUSTED FRIEND* 



My long tried friend and crony dear, 
Once more I wish to please your ear, 
Who lov'd my native muse to hear, 

And felt my pains ; 
And shed the sympathetic tear 

O'er tender strains ! 



* The last poem of the ''Rustic Bard" to Hon. Silas 
Betton. It ended their correspondence. It was written 
Jan. 8, 1822, and fourteen days later, Jan. 22, 1822, Mr. 
Betton died. Thus closed one of the strongest, most 
endearing friendships of the Bard's life. 



MY TRUSTED FRIEND. 213 

Should happier themes the bard inspire, 
Or Cupid set his heart on fire ; 
Then touching soft the tuneful lyre, 

By self taught art, 
It worked a latent fond desire, 

In your warm heart. 

When av'rice, pride, and feudal jars, 
Led Rustic Bard to fields of wars, 
He sang of triumph, death, and scars; 

If right or wrong, 
Your peaceful heart 

Approved the song. 

When nature clad in bright awa}', 
Dress'd in the blooming robes of May, 
Call'd forth the poet's cheerful lay, 

You could rejoice ; 
And with the robin on the spray 

Unite your voice. 

When maidens skimm'd the liow'ry plains, 
In shady bowers they met their swains, 
Where songsters pour'd their vocal strains, 

In raptured groves ; 
The Rusticks' toil and pains, 

Were drown'd in loves. 

Who now shall chant the pleasant lay, 
When winter's night cuts short the day, 



214 MY TRUSTED FRIEND. 

And frost repels bright Pheobus' ray 

And seals the ground ; 
While round the dam no lambkins play. 

Nor cheerful bound. 

No rippling stream that erst could please. 
Meand'riug through the flow'ring trees ;' 
No fragrant rose to scent the breeze. 

Nor lily fair ; 
No joy we find in tilings like these, 

Stripp'd, chill'd, and bare ! 

Sleep then, the muse, to me so dear, 
Which once could please a Betton's ear. 
And oft my own dull spirits cheer, 

When lag I lay ; 
None ask me now to let them hear 

The Minstrel play. 

All things in nature must decay, 
Our life and beauty fade away ; 
But though our bodies turn to clay, 

Faith says they '11 rise, 
And bask in everlasting day, 

Beyond the skies ! 

The book of nature open lies, 

Where all, but fools, the Godhead spies ; 

But 'tis the Gospel makes us wise, 



ON THE DEATH OF SILAS BETTON. 215 

And guides us right ; 
By which life's immortal joys 
• Are brought to light. 

Theu let us all our sins confess, 

And own the ' ' Lord our righteousness " ; 

May we his saving grace possess, 

So freely given ! 
Then close our eyes, and die in peace, 

To meet in Heaven. 



MONODY ON THE DEATH OF SILAS BETTON, 
ESQ., TO LIEUT. PEARSON TITCOMB, OF 
SALEM, N. H. FEB. 2, 1822. 



What sad and solemn news do we hear, Pearson T., 
That strikes to our hearts with a knell ? 
Our friend Betton is gone, and lies cold as a stone, 
And weeping, our sorrows we'll tell. 

A- well, a-well-a-day ! 
And weeping, our sorrows we'll tell. 

No more shall we meet this dear friend, Pearson T., 

No more will he urge us to sing 

Those sweet Scottish airs, to banish our cares, 



216 ON THE DEATH OF SILAS BETTON. 

Nor his voice in the concert shall ring. 

A-well, a-well-a-day ! 
Nor his voice in the concert shall ring. 

The Gazette itself seems but dull, Pearson T., 
Where we often found genius and glee ; 
For low with the dead, they have laid his sage head, 
And no poet is sanction'd by Z*. 

A-well, a-well-a-day ! 
And no poet is sanction'd by Z. 

Our country in weeds may lament, Pearson T., 
And the widow and orphan shall mourn ! 
He in councils of state, held a place with the great, 
And the patriot shall weep o'er his* urn. 

A-well, a-well-a-day ! 
And the patriot shall weep o'er his urn. 

Ah ! farewell to our patron and friend, Pearson T., 
And in peace let his ashes still rest ; 
Then while life remains, or blood flows in our veins, 
His memory shall live in each breast. 

A-well, a-well-a-day ! 
His memory shall live in each breast. 



* Z was always known by the printers to be Mr. 
Betton's signature. 



TO ROBERT DINSMOOR TITCOMB. 217 



TO ROBERT DINSMOOR TITCOMB — A YOUNG 
NAMESAKE. HE WAS SON OF LIEUT. PEAR- 
SON TITCOMB. SEPT., 1822. 



I. 

Come to my arms, my smiling boy ! 
Long ma} r you live, and still enjoy 

The rustic poet's name ; 
O may you never need to blush, 
If call'd the bayonet to push, 

Or turn thy back with shame ; 
Should usurpation cause alarms, 

Invader's bugle blow, 
Then like a patriot, clad in arms, 

Heroic meet the foe ; 

The field then, ne'er yield then, 

If justice calls you there ; 

Victorious and glorious, 

The conqueror's laurels wear. 



11. 

But never may thy heart rejoice, 

At clang of war's detested noise, 

Where wanton foemen meet ; 



218 TO ROBERT DINSMOOR TITCOMB. 

And may you ne'er exult and tell, 
How some one in a duel fell, 

Expiring at thy feet. 
Th' illicit lover, pass her door — 

Be sure with scorn to shun her. 
May thy chaste soul those scenes abhor 

Where virtue falls with honor ! 

Precisely, and wisely, 

Chose a sweet mate for life ; 

Then take her, and make her 

Thy loving friend and wife. 



III. 

Sweet be her voice, her genius bright, 
The muses' friend, and your delight ; 

To sooth your aching heart, 
Should ever fortune prove unkind, 
And growing cares perplex your mind, 

She comfort will impart. 
in some fair cottage, form'd to please, 

Where rippling waters glide ; 
And robins sing among the trees, 

Long happily reside. 

Let health there, and wealth there. 

Within thy walls abound, 

And neatness, and sweetness. 

Continuallv be found. 



TO ROBERT DINSMOOR TITCOMB. 219 

IV. 

Now smiling in your parents' arms, 
Display your lovely infant charms, 

And move their kind regard. 
Anticipation points the day, 
When you shall greater powers display — 

The statesman and the bard, 
But higher honor still attain, 

Which grace divine insures. 
Compared to this, all else is vain, 

A Christian's fame be yours ; 

When driving, and striving, 

Through worldly cares are pass'd, 

Securely, and surely, 

May Heaven be yours at last ! 



220 TO A FRIEND. 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO A FRIEND, WHEN 
THE WRITER WAS CONFINED WITH THE 
PALSY, AND HEARING OF A NUMBER OF 
DEATHS AMONG HIS FRIENDS. JAN. 1, 1823. 



How awful and solemn the sound. 

Of death that still reigns in my ear ! 
My uncle lies cold in the ground, 

With many kind friends I loved dear ! 
How happy the hours we have past, 

In circles to meet now no more ! 
Those sweet s.cenes are gone with a blast, 

And left me those scenes to deplore ! 
The world, how delusive its charms ! 

When all seems delightful and fair, 
We're oft seized with sudden alarms, 

And taken like birds in a snare ! 
How quickly our years pass away, 

They fly like the cold, stormy blast! 
The year that commences today. 

Tomorrow may prove it our last. 
We reason and sense may retain, 

When vigor and action are fled ; 
And feel neither sickness or pain, 



TO A FRIEND. 221 

Yet find half our members are dead* ! 
In stupor that hand and foot lies, 

Which once gave me pleasure to use ; 
T" accomplish my fond enterprise, 

They aid and assistance refuse. 
In vain we seek happiness here, 

Where troubles incessant abound ; 
Our joys often end with a tear, 

And pleasure itself gives a wound ! 
In humble submission I'll lie, 

And all my vain prospects give o'er ; 
On Heaven for comfort rely, 

And trust in my weak limbs no more. 
Farewell to the world and its joys, 

I'll court its false favors no more ; 
My soul up to God shall arise, 

And a Saviour's free mercy adore. 
Sweet peace there forever shall grow, 

And there shall the weary find rest ; 
There rivers of pleasures still flow, 

To drown all the cares of my breast. 



* The author had almost totally lost the use of his left 
side, without experiencing any pain, and did not recover 
the use of his limbs again for some months. 



222 TO ISAAC McGAW. 



TO ISAAC McGAW* ESQ., A YOUNG LAWYER, 
AND HIS WIFE. SOON AFTER MARRIAGE. 
AUG. 23, 1828. 



Dear Isaac, fondly would I draw. 

A summons that would stand in law ; 

But critics often find a flaw, 

More shrewd than wisely ; 
I should have said to 'Squire McGaw: 

And wife Eliza. 

But let that stand — I've more to say 
On Tuesday next, I mean to play, 
Just when we've gotten in our hay ; 

(If health permit) ; 
Come x see us afternoon that day, 

And " crack and spit." 



* Jacob McGaw, of Scotch descent, emigrated from 
Lineygloss, near Londonderry, Ireland, where he was 
born in 1737, and settled in Bedford, N. H. He married 
in 1772, Margaret Orr, of Bedford, N. H., daughter of 
John and Margaret (Kamel) Orr, who came from Ireland 
in 1726. Her aunt, Margaret Orr, had married Robert 
Dinsmoor of Windham, the grandmother of the "Rus- 
tic Bard.'" Their son Isaac McGaw, a second cousin of 
the poet, lived in Windham, N. H., manj' years. Law- 
yer. He w T as born May 25, 17S5. Married Eliza, dau. of 
Samuel Armor of Windham, who died Dec. 29, 184S. 
Died in Merrimack, 1ST. H., Nov. 13, 1863. 



TO ISAAC McGAW. 223 

I do not wish to be mistaken, 

Our best ripe apples shall be shaken ; 

We'll give you neither beef nor bacon. 

Nor buck nor brock ; 
Perhaps we'll have a well stov'd capon, 

Or moorland cock ! 

No punch, nor brandy — yon may risk me, 
But cider in the place of whiskey ; 
Haply some wine, to make us frisky, 

'•And what the matter?" 
Ww> will, when cheerly, talk more briskly, 

And feel the better. 

No formal billetdoux I've penn'd ye, 
Nor flatt'ring compliment intend } 7 e ; 
Please to accept the wish I send ye, 

Nor snnff nor snarl ! 
And as you ever would befriend me, 

Come on your peril. 



224 ANSWER TO THE PRINTER. 



ANSWER TO THE CALL* -PAY ALL MEN." 
DEC, 1828. 



Dear Reinhart, Haverhill printer, spare me, 

Your text and doctrine almost scare me ; 

Delinquents all without restriction, 

Must blush, like one with deep conviction ; 

You are no drone, or common teacher, • 

But just a modern pungent preacher, 

Not mangling texts, or wrestling scripture. 

To cause disputes, and raise a rupture ; 

No long comment to drown the sense, 

With vain parade of eloquence. 

The text alone set at the head, 

Is proof enough for all that said ; 

I wish that teachers not a few, 

Would leave their texts unhurt like you. 

Preachers there are, who sometimes draw, 

Wrong inferences from the law ; 

'Bout points and tenets, fight like cocks, 

But I'll pronounce you orthodox. 

Though humbling to my carnal pride, 



* The proprietor of the Gazette and Patriot of Haver- 
hill, Mass., of which he was a patron, having issued a 
call to subscribers for payment of dues, brought this. 



ANSWER TO THE PRINTER. 225 

Both law and gospel's on your side ! 
Far in arrears, I frankly say it, 
But think not sir, I'll never pay it ; 
Take not thy servant by the throat, 
Nor strip me of my thread-bare coat ; 
That would be usage hard indeed, 
But mercy's all that I can plead ! 
See at your feet my Bardship fall, 
" Have patience and I'll pa}^ thee all." 

" Rustic Bard." 



THE FOLLOWING LETTER IS AN ANSWER 
TO ISAAC A. DINSMOOR, THE BARD'S 
NEPHEW, WHO HAD WRITTEN TO HIM 
WITH A VIEW TO RECTIFY SOME MISUN- 
DERSTANDING BETWEEN THEM. OCT. 7, 
1824. 



Dear nephew, I received your letter — 
Scarce aught could please your uncle better 
Displaying genius, sense, and matter, 

With friendship fraught ; 
That I should thus become your debtor, 

I never thought. 



226 TO ISAAC A. DINSMOOR. 

Something I own from me is due, 
For proffer'd friendship pure and true ; 
I never lost my love for you, 

By harsh reflections ; 
Then cheerfully we will renew 

Those kind affections. 

Though passion sometimes bears the sway, 
And carries reason quite astray, 
I'm never kept a single day 

In its control ; 
But deep remorse and conscience prey 

Upon my soul ! 



Anger was never known to rest, 
But in the simple foolish breast ; 
Of that, I hope you 're not possess'd, 

Nor yet inherit 
Malicious feelings, but detest 

That hateful spirit. 

Of that base fiend call'd enmity, 
I think my heart was ever free ; 
Let not that foe permitted be, 

To reign, or rule us, 
And break the peace of you and me, 

And shame and fool us. 

Doubtless you are my kinsman near, 
The evidence is strong and clear ; 



TO ISAAC A. DINSMOOR. . 227 

Those kindling sparks that now appear, 

May cause a flame, 
To melt the heart, or dry the tear, 

And raise your fame. 

A talent I discern in you, 

Which by your verse* is brought to view — 

'Tis nature's gift bestowed on few, 

Be sure to use it ; 
And let the muse with prudence shew 
. You don't abuse it. 

Since to be useful you incline, 
Endeavor nature to refine ; 
Then, like a gem upon the vine, 

Expand and grow ; 
And laurel wreaths may yet entwine, 

A Dinsmoor's brow. 

"Rustic Bard." 



The verse alluded to is the following : 
"Dear Rustic Baud: 

Teach me thy poetic art, 
T' inspire the fancy of the heart, 
To scatter words in verse sublime, 
As thou didst in thy early prime.' 



228 TO MRS. SUSANNA GREGG. 



ADDRESS TO MRS. SUSANNA GREGG* OF LON- 
DONDERRY, FEB. 14, 1824. 



My much respected venerable dame, 

Friend of my youth, in age the same I claim, 

The Bard's kind patron, lover of the muse, 

Who e'en my rustic lay, with candor views ; 

But oh, dear madam, far superior lays 

I here enclose you, worthy of your praise. 

Good sense, in simple elegance well dress'd, 

By Scottish genius suited to your taste. 

Poetic beauties seem to grace the page, 

To sooth the heart, and smooth the brow of age ; 

With placid face, peace and contentment smile, 

And innocence decrepitude beguile. 

See virgin beauties blooming in their prime, 

Calmly surrender'd to the grip of time. 

Her charms she yields, and counts it no disgrace 

To let old age print wrinkles on her face ; 

Her locks to whiten, freely gives him leave, 

And when her feet are shackl'd, does not grieve ! 

About her lugsf she makes a bargain rare, 

Nor will she quite her poor twiukers spare ; 



* Susanna Gregg, mother of D. A. Greg* 
t Ears. 



TO MRS. SUSANNA GREGG. 229 

No more to hear would be surpassing grief, 
Although at times he's free to make her deaf. 
Auld age she flatters, treats him as a friend, 
Jogs by his side until their journey's end ; 
Her uncouth guide gives her no anxious care, 
In hopes to meet a better partner there. 
When irksome sloughs, and ups, and clowns are 

past, 
Of graces stript, she jilts him at the last ; 
Immortal youth receives her in his arms, 
Arrayed in glorious, uncreated charms ! 
Vigor restored, she walks the flowery plains, 
With soul enwrapt with new ecstatic strains. 
In paradise, she scents the blissful grove, 
Where trees of life }^ield lasting fruits of love, 
In light refulgent, basks in heavenly rays, 
Where pleasures roll as endless as her days ! 
But, let no bard presume those joys to paint, 
Which are reserved in heaven for every saint. 
Lord, make them thine, shall be my fervent prayer, 
And let e'en me be bless'd, and meet you there. 
" Hope humbly then, with trembling pinions soar, 
Wait the o-reat teacher death, and God adore." 



230 TO E. W. REINHART. 



TO E. W. REIXHEART, EDITOR OF THE 
"GAZETTE AND PATRIOT," HAVERHILL, 
MASS. DEC. 10, 1821. 



Kind Reinheart, will you be so good, 
To one who once your patron stood, 
As not to think that I intrude, 

Or yet impose ; 
Although the verses may seem crude, 

That I enclose. 

My true friends once, of poetic taste,. 
Who wish'd to see my numbers grac'd, 
Have in the poet's corner plac'd, 

My rustic lays ; 
And hearts possess'd of feelings chaste T 

Have given them praise. 

But sir, permit me just to mention, 
With pure design and true intention, 
I, as a bard, have no pretention 

To be caress'd ; 
Alas ! I feel a great declentiou, 

By age depress'd. 



TO E. W. REINHART. 231 

The honors due to La- Fayette, 
Let laureate poets now display it ; 
Our grateful country should repay it, 

With high renown, 
And in immortal strains convey it, 

And virtue crown. 

In these electioneeriug days, 
Each petty poet strives to raise 
His favorite to the public gaze, 

His worth to show ; 
And of his talents makes a phrase, 

Be 't false or true. 

But whether Crawford wins the day, 
Or Adams bears the palm away, 
Or whether Jackson or a Clay, 

The chair shall fill ; 
Whatever parties write or say, 

'Tis darkness still. 

Let us not over-anxious feel, 
Kind Providence directs the wheel, 
To Him, we'll trust the public weal, 

AVho can control, 
And make e'en kings to act and deal, 

Best for the whole. 

Such themes my crippled muse gives o'er, 
Perhaps I'll write and read no more, 



232 VERSES ON SPRING. 

Yet when your papers pass my door 

I feel a sadness, 
Which formerly I could explore 

With so much gladness. 



VERSES ON SPRING.* 



Let every heart its tribute bring, 
And hail once more returning Spring, 
When woodlands filled with music ring, 

And perched on high, 
The robins send the notes they sing- 
Up to the sky. 

New life, creation all assumes, 
The flowery lawn in beauty blooms, 
When Nature's dressed in gaudy plumes, 

How sweet the breeze ; 
Soft zephyrs waft the rich perfumes 
From budding trees. 



* Verses presented to a young step-granddaughter, 
Mary Holmes. 



VERSES ON SPRING. 233 

How glorious the sweet morn of May, 
When everything in Nature 's gay ; 
We see the young in gambols play, 

By instinct driven. 
But ah ! how soon their joys decay, 

A moment given. 

O my dear Mary, canst thou see 
How much these things resemble thee, 
When heart is light and mind is free 

From anxious cares? 
The bird that sings upon the tree 

With thee compares. 

Then learn to read the book Divine, 
♦See Godhead stamped on every line, 
In every leaf his glories shine 

With dazzling rays ; 
Let all the powers of Nature join 

Jehovah's praise. 



234 THE AULD GUN. 



ANTIQUITY — THE AULD GUN. 



To pope, or prelate, or pretender, 

Nae Diusmore arms would e'er surrender ; 

True protestants, a noble gender, 

Ca'd Presbyterian ! 
For them, I was a baulcl defender, 

Says th' antiquarian. 

Whan master brought me to this land, 
I aye stood charged at his right hand ; 
Nae Iudian warrior e'er could stand, 

Against Diusmore ! * 
My hail was death, at his command, 

Wi' thuuderiuo- roar ! 



* Robert Dinsmoor, the first in America, owner of the 
old gun, was an emigrant from Ireland, with his family, 
to this country in the year 1730. He settled in that part 
of Londonderry now Windham, set off and incorporated 
in the year 1742, and by that act he was specially author- 
ized to call the first meeting for the Choice of officers, 
and was elected first selectman. He was one of the 
first commissioned officers of the Train Band, in Wind- 
ham, N. H., and had the command of a party of militia 
at No. 4, now Charlestown, N. H., in the time of the old 
French and Indian war, but exactly what -date I know 
not. The old gun has seemed to have had a charmed life* 
It passed from its original owner, Robert, to his eldest 
son John, who was one of the leading men in the town — 



THE AULD GUN. 235 

Me, as his am, he aye could claim, 
At " number four," he rais'd my fame, 
Wi's Jocteleg — when far frae hame, 

He rudely cut 
Th' initials o' Iiis honor'd name 

Upon my butt ! 



town clerk, moderator, selectman, delegate to the Pro- 
vincial Congress at Exeter, N. H., in 1775, a justice of 
the peace, an elder in the Presbyterian church. He 
married Martha, daughter of Justice James McKeen, 
and was by her blessed with 12 children. The gun 
passed to his son John, who married for his first wife 
Susannah, daughter of John Bell of Londonderry, and 
sister of Samuel Bell, late U. S. Senator and Governor 
of the state, and who with his brother, John Bell, and 
descendants have made the name of Bell a synonym for 
the highest and best qualities of manhood. The second 
John about 1800 moved from Windham to Deny, where 
he lived 14 years, highly esteemed by his near towns- 
men, and upon his death, April 15, 1814, the gun passed 
to his son John Bell Dinsmoor, who carried it to Chau- 
tauqua Co., N. Y., where he went at the suggestion of 
his father to avoid the supposed climatic influence of 
New Hampshire, to which he attributed his own death 
by consumption. John, the third owner, settled at 
Ripley in that county, and after passing 58 years there 
and rearing a family of 12 children, passed the gun to 
his son John Bell Dinsmoor, whose worth as a citizen is 
best told by the estimate put upon his services and abili- 
ties by those who have best known him. John Bell 
Dinsmoor, the fourth and present owner, was born at 
Ripley, N. Y., March 15, 1838. He was in Kansas and 
Missouri from 1859 to '61, when he enlisted in Companv 
I, 9th N. Y. Cavalry, as a private Sept. 20, 1861. Was 
made Co. Quartermaster Sergeant, was promoted to 2d 
Lieutenant in September, 1862, was Ass't Provost Martial 
in the fall of 1863, and as Provost Martial, Cavalry Divi- 
sion, Dep't of Washington, in Februaiy, 1S64; served 
till relieved in June same year; discharged Oct. 20, 1864. 



236 CELEBRATION, WINDHAM, N. H. 



AN ODE WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF THE 
COMMITTEE OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE 
CELEBRATION OF INDEPENDENCE, WIND- 
HAM, JULY 4, 1825. 



Now let our cheerful voices rise 
To God who built the earth and skies 
And in his temple loud proclaim, 
The honors of his sovereign name. 

While we our grateful homage pay, 
Let freedom's banners wide display ; 
And hail the bright auspicious morn, 
That saw our happy nation born ! 

Look back, } r e honor'd veterans few, 
Whose locks are thin, of silver hue, 
That ran at war's loud piercing thrill, 
To Lexington and Bunker's Hill ! 



He married Helen M. Mattison April 12, 1865; was six 
years in mercantile life at Ashville, N. Y. ; went to 
Nebraska May, 1872; was appointed County Commis- 
sioner May 1. 1S73; elected Sheriff" November, 1873; 
elected County Clerk November, 1875. Helped organize 
the first bank in the county in January, 1877, under the 
firm name of Grimes & Dinsmoor, continued as a private 
bank till April, 1887, then organized the Sutton National 
Bank; has served as its President till the present time, 



CELEBRATION, WINDHAM, N. H. 23T 

When Charlestown's flame in pillars rose, 
Caus'cl by oar cruel British foes ; 
Midst thundering cannon, blood and fire, 
You saw Lord Perry's host expire ! 

With fault'ring tongue you yet can tell, 
Where some dear friend, or brother, fell ; 
With palsied limbs, and glimm'ring eyes, 
Point to the place where Warren lies ! 

How chang'd the scene ! now horror's past, 
With joy behold the great contrast : 
No British flag, or rampart there, 
But columns rise to freedom fair ! 

Look back to Bennington, and see 
A Stark make Burgoyne's army flee ! 
Behold that army captur'd quite, 
By Gates, on Saratoga's! height ! 



1897. Was elected State Senator in 1880; was chosen 
President, pro tem, and presided a large part of the 
session. Has been high in Masonic circles, and was 
elected Grand Master of Masons June, 1897. For twenty 
years has been a member of the Nebraska State Board 
of Agriculture, and served as its President in 1884 and 
1885. Was appointed Superintendent of an important 
department relating to agriculture at the Columbian 
Exposition in April, 1892, at Chicago. Is at present 
serving; as Commissioner for similar purposes of the 
Trans-Mississippi Exposition to be held in Omaha, Neb. r 
in 1898. 
t The Bard had an active part in that glorious scene. 



238 TO COL. SILAS DINSMOOR. 

'Twas not our arm the victory gain'cl — 
The Lord's right hand our cause maintain'd 
For us, th' oppressor's arm He brake, 
And saved us for his own name's sake ! 

Columbia now in sweet accord, 
Sing loud hosanuas to the Lord ; 
Who makes our eyes with transport see, 
This happy day, our Jubilee ! 



THE AUTHOR TO HIS FRIEND, COL. SILAS 
DINSMOOR* OF MOBILE, ALABAMA, IN 
SCOTCH, THE DIALECT OF THEIR ANCES- 
TORS. 



Dear cousin, could I ance mair see thee, 
My house should kindly welcome gie thee ; 
Nae worldly care should gar me lea' thee, 

Nor dumpish be ; 
Ae week at least I'd spend it wi' thee, 

In cracks an' glee. 



* This is that Dinsmoor so much celebrated as a com- 
poser, by Robert Dinsmoor, of Ballywattick, Ireland. 



TO COL. SILAS DINSMOOR. 239 

Though time all nature doth efface, 

W you I'd view our native place, 

Whar' sprang a numerous Dinsmoor race, 

Roun' Jenny's Hill ; 
An' down its brow some burnie trace, 

Or wimpling rill. 

Our great grandsire fam'd and rever'd, 
In Londonderry lies interr'd ! 
There, at his head wi' kind regard, 

We'd pile some stanes, 
Renew the turf, and right the swaird, 

That co'ers his banes ! * 

Whan we our ancient line retrace, 
He was the first o' a' our race, 
Cauld Erin ca' his native place, 

O' name Dinsmore ! 
And first that saw wi' joyfu' face, 

Columbia's shore ! 

Though death our ancestors has cleeket,t 
An' under clods them closely steeket ; I 
Their native tongue we yet wad speak it, 

Wi' accent glib ; 
And mark the place their chimney's reeket,§ 

Like brithers sib. II 



* No monument was ever erected to his memory, 
f Caught. J Shut. § Smoked. || Akin. 



240 TO COL. SILAS DINSMOOR. 

The progeny that frae them sprang, 
O may they a' remember lang, 
Their pious prayers an' haly sang 

O' sacred lays ! 
Baith e'en an' morn, their d waitings rang, 

Wi' notes o' praise ! 

In deep devotional reflection, 

AVhile memory lasts, sweet recollection 

Shall mind their prayers for our protection > 

Wi' hearts sincere ; 
Syne o'er their dust, wi' kind affection, 

We'd drap a tear ! 

To cousin Rabin, as ye ca' me, 
Ye'd out the city Mobile draw me, 
An' Indian tales 'bout Alabama, 

Shrewdly } T e'd tell 'im ; 
An' a' Louisiana shaw me, 

Imprest on vellum. 

Their mountains, glens, and forests drear, 
'Wi lakes immense, an' rivers clear, 
Deep pits, an' dens, enough to fear, 

A savage sable ! 
On parchment stampt a' wad appear, 

As smooth 's the table ! 

The bard then forth his warks wad bring, 
Some tender strain he'd gar thee sing, 



TO COL. SILAS DINSMOOR. 241 

Or, read the fau'ts o' poor wee Spring, 

Air's frank confession ! 
Or else some ither funny thing, 

In his possession ! 

Freely his book he'd lend to yon, 

(A favor he confers on few), 

An' let you read his poems through, 

An extra volume ; 
An' mak' remarks in strict review, 

On ilka column. 

Nae doubt ye'd candidly inspect it, 
An' gently wi' your han' correct it ; 
Yet if some part should be rejected, 

I'd no think hard ; 
But for your pains ye'd be respected, 

B' the "Rustic Bard." 

But to few days my life is stinted, 
Therefore I modestly would hint it ; 
I ken my writings will be printed, 

No distant date ; 
If I were gane, nane could prevent it ; 

I dread their fate ! 

! could some frien' concert a plan, 
To save the credit o' the man, 
Whas character maun sink or stan' 



242 TO COL. SILAS DINSMOOR. 

Wi' his production ! 
Will ye na save me if ye can, 
Frae dire destruction? 

Though ye may hae, as I doubt not, 
Afar frae hence, a happy lot ; 
But, can your Men's be a' forgot, 

'Bout Jenny's Hill? 
Sweet recollection o' that spot, 

Maun please 3^011 still. 

Dear Silas, I your frien'ship claim, 

Wha bears your honor'd grandsire's name, 

Sprung frae that stock, our bluid the same, 

Baith Dinsmoors true ! 
Fain would I trust my Bardship's fame, 

In care o' you. 



TO MISS ANN ORR. 243 



TIOBERT DINSMOOR TO MISS ANN ORR,* 
OF BEDFORD, N. H. 



THIS POEM WAS WRITTEN ON RECEIVING FROM THE 
YOUNG LADY TO WHOM IT IS ADDRESSED, A SER- 
MON, PREACHED BY REV. WALTER HARRIS, OF DUN- 
BARTON, IN BEDFORD. 



Dear cousin Ann, I got your gift, 
Which gave my native pride a lift ; 
Your father's friend you will not shift, 

Since yours you rank me ; 
All other cares I'll turn adrift, 

And kindly thank ye. 

The truth that springs from wisdom's source, 
And runs throughout that grand discourse, 
Must strike the infidel with force, 

And deep regret ; 
And give the atheist keen remorse, 

Perhaps too late ! 



* Miss Ann Orr was daughter of George Orr and Mar- 
garet Wallace, and granddaughter of Daniel and Eleanor 
Orr, who, with his brother John Orr and sister Jennett 



244 TO MISS ANN ORR. 

Let impious souls who never felt, 
The piercing pain of sin and guilt, 
Lest bowels petrified should melt 

Their hearts, they harden ; 
Now own a Saviour's blood was spilt r 

To purchase pardon ! 

To make his glorious gospel spread, 
He calls the females to his aid ; 
The matron saint, and pious maid,. 

Their gifts bestow ; 
That nations who in sius are dead,. 

His name may know ! 

O ! may the ladies everywhere, 
Soon emulate the Bedford fair, 
And make the cause of Christ their care- 



derry, N. EL, and subsequently settled in Bedford, N. H. 
She was born Sept. 21, 1782, and died Nov., 1849. She 
was a remarkable woman, with a strong mind, and was 
a successful teacher for half a century. The History of 
Bedford, N. H., p. 320, says Jennett Orr married a 
Dinsmoor, and settled in what is now Windham, N. H., 
where her descendants still live. This is evidently a 
mistake as there is no record or tradition of any Jennett 
Orr who married a Dinsmoor. Her name must have 
been Margaret Orr, who was born in 1691, who married 
in Ireland Robert Dinsmoor 2 , and died in Windham, 
1ST. H, June 2, 1752, aged 61 yrs. She was grandmother 
to the "Rustic Bard," and the relationship between the 
poet and Miss Orr was 2d cousins. 



TO MISS ANN ORR. 



245 



His light diffuse ; 
One cent a week each well might spare 
For such a use. * 



'Tis not the largest sacrifice, 
That's most accepted in his eyes ; 
The gracious Lord will not despise 

A widow's mite ! 
A single cent He'll deem a prize, 

If given aright. 



246 TO MARY ELIZA DINSM.OOK. 



ROBERT DLNSMOOR TO MARY ELIZA 
DIXSMOOR.* 



THE FOLLOWING POEM WAS ADDKESSED TO HER, OX 
RECEIVING FROM HER, WHEN VERY YOUNG, A 
PICTURE OF JOHN BULL, STUNG TO AGONY BY THE 
WASP AND HORNET, AS A SPECIMEN OF HER DRAW- 
ING. 



My dear yoimg friend, and kind niece Mary, 
My muse has long been dull and weary ; 
But now, she'd sing and flaunt right airy, 

When fancy sees you : 
Yet still, there seems to be a query, 

What theme might please you. 

Should I assume the jovial strain, 
I fear you justly might complain r 
And treat my sonnet with disdain r 



* Robert Dinsmoor to Mary Eliza Dinsmoor of Keene r 
N. H., daughter of the elder Gov. Samuel Dinsmoor. 
She was born Dec. 2, 1800, at Keene ; married June 30,. 
1823, Robert Means of Amherst, X. EL She was a 
charming lady and died Aug. 1(3, 1S29. 



TO MARY ELIZA DINSMOOR. 247 

Look shy and coyish ; 
And call your aged uncle vain, 
And light and boyish. 

Should I in prose or rhyme descant, 
On what perhaps we both most want, 
And talk religion like a saint, 

Or " unco guid " — 
I might incur a sneering cant, 

Both sharp and shrewd ! 

The "«rigid righteous" I detest, 
Who think their own opinion best, 
And fix a standard in their breast, 

Their own production ; 
And without right or reason, rest 

On false instruction ! 

But, sure I am, there's something right, 

That I'll defend with all my might ; 

And something wrong, 'gainst which I'll fight, 

With all my power ; 
And vindicate my cause, in spite 

Of foes that're sour. 

Virtue and vice were ne'er design'd, 
At once to rule the human mind — 
To one or other we're inclin'd, 
Or else oppose ; 



248 TO MARY ELIZA DINSMOOR. 

Nor do we on the thistle find 
The blooming rose. 

When by sore sickness we're oppress'd, 
No worldly wealth can give us rest ; 
True virtue seated in the breast, 

Sweet peace can give ; 
Religion's self can make us blest, 

To die or live. 

How lovely does the maid appear, 
Whose bosom beats for virtue fair ! 
She makes religion first her care, 

With spirit meek — 
True grace adorns her modest air, 

With blushing cheek. 

And should she be a polish'd dame, 
High bred, and of scholastic fame, 
Her pious heart can ne'er disclaim 

Her heavenly birth ; 
u A Christian " is the highest name 

She seeks on earth. 

How blest the man whom she shall wed, 
And on his bosom lean her head ! 
No rival lover need he dread, 

But safe confide — 
Angels surround their nuptial bed, 

To guard his bride ! 



TO MARY ELIZA DINSMOOR. 249 

And when the fatal hour is come, 
That calls her body to the tomb, 
She, fearless of her future doom, 

Since hope is given, 
Can leave the world without a gloom, 

And fly to heaven ! 

The joys of sense are transitory, 
The scenes of fortune often vary ; 
May wisdom guide your steps to glory, 

And Heaven approve ; 
Sweet peace be yours, my dear niece Mary, 

And God still love. 



250 TO MRS. SARAH DAVIDSON. 



A FAREWELL TO MRS. SARAH DAVIDSON". 



Ah ! nry clear Sally, must we part, 

Grief makes my bosom swell ; 
O ! how can I with aching heart, 

Pronounce the word, Farewell? 
In silent hours, both night and day, 

I'll surely think on thee ; 
But who can toll, when far away, 

If you'll remember me? 



II. 



Now bound by wedlock's sacred bands, 

A mother's care is thine ; 
If love has joined your hearts and hands, 

My heart shall not repine ; 
'Tis duty calls you to the place, 

Where my Jane used to be ; 
Perhaps no more to see my face, — 

Will you remember me ? 



TO MRS. SARAH DAVIDSON. 



251 



III. 

That you may live a happy life, 

And love connubial find ; 
Be sure a gentle loving wife 

Will make a husband kind : 
When griefs and joys are equal borne, 

'Twill comfort give to thee. 
O ! may you ne'er be made to mourn, 

And then remember me ! 

IV. 

Think, Sally, think what I endure, 

When I past scenes review ; 
When your dear mother deck'd my bower 

With numerous gems like you ! 
Those lovely flow'rets, my delight, 

Sprung from that blooming tree ! 
Alas ! I've seen that glory blight ; 

Oh ! then remember me. 



V. 

And you, my little son, farewell, 
May angels be your guard ; 

God save you from the gates of hell, 
And be your great reward ; 

And when life's ocean you have past, 
As o'er a boisterous sea, 



252 TO MRS. SARAH DAVIDSON. 

May you arrive in heaven at last, 
To join in praise with me ! 

VI. 

Farewell, my darling Mary*, too, 

Your mother's image bright ; 
May Heaven soon make a saint of you, 

To shine in robes of light ! 
And while grandpa's a pilgrim here, 

His prayer shall rise for thee ; 
" But, who can tell if thou, my dear, 

Will e'er remember me ? " 

VII. 

That blessings temporal and divine, 

You mutually may share, 
With peace, and love, and grace benign, 

Shall be my humble prayer ; 
And when to Heaven you lift your eyes, 

Upon each bended knee — 
Devotion let, as incense rise, 

And then remember me. 



Mary E. Davidson, the Bard's granddaughter. 



BALAAM'S ANSWER. 253 



BALAAM'S ANSWER.* 



Balak ! would you wish to curse, 
And make bad weather ten times worse ? 
Would you invoke a Magii squad, 
To counteract the ways of God ? 
Think ye that all the powers below, 
Can make it rain, or shine, or snow? 
Or that the infernal sooty host, 
Can lay the wind, or stop the frost? 
E'en Beor's son as well might try 
With his black art to sink the sky. 
Long since you sent for me afar, 
To curse your foes in time of war ; 
Your proffer' d wealth and high promotion 
Caus'd me to try a foolish notion : 
When on Mount Pisga's top I stood, 



* In the spring of 1819 there had been heavy rains, 
which in Salem caused the meadows to be overflowed, 
delayed the planting of seed, and filled the hearts of 
agriculturists with deep despondency. On May 17, 1819, 
Hon. Silas Betton wrote a facetious letter to the '-' Rustic 
Bard," in which were these lines : " O ! Balaam ! curse 
ye me this weather, for I am afraid it will overcome me, 
and not only me, but the beasts of the field, and many 
of the fruits of the earth." This letter drew from the 
Bard the above poem. 



254 BALAAM'S ANSWER. 

And all the host of Jacob vievv'd, 

In hopes that you would make me rich, 

I sought enchantments like a witch ! 

When I would curse with perverse will, 

My tongue was forc'd to bless them still ! 

Then to Mount Peor's top I flew, 

Tried deviuations deep and new ; 

With Moab's rams and bullocks slain, 

I strove to bribe the gods in vain ! 

But witchcraft, sorcery, and spell, 

Took no effect 'gainst Israel ! 

And there I honestly confess'd, 

That none has cursed what God has bless'd ! 

Then in a rage you drove me hence, 

Without one cent for my expense. 

My wicked heart, a slave to greed, 

Was sorety mortified indeed ! 

I mounted on my little beast, 

And set my face toward the east, 

Chagrin'd and griev'd, I cried, alas ! 

That e'er I smote my honest ass ; 

For life I fled, and thought it hard 

That you would give me no reward. 

Those that would sinfully be great, 

May think upon poor Balaam's fate. 

But, now forsooth, to save your pelf, 

You'd be a demigod yourself ! 



* A river near Mr. Betton's. 



BALAAM'S ANSWER. 255 

Dry Spicket* meadows at your pleasure, 

Aucl seud down showers of rain in measure ! 

Enough perhaps to suit your plain, 

With heat sufficient for your grain. 

Omnipotent, if you could be, 

Would you regard a wretch like me ? 

Your favors will be felt by few, 

And lacking wisdom as you do, 

I'm sure confusion would ensue. 

Unlike to God, who's good to all, 

Your favors on self alone would fall. 



256 TO MR. JOSEPH LADD. 



N THE MONTH OF OCTOBER, 1820, THE BARD MADE 
A SHORT VISIT TO HIS FRIENDS IN BELFAST, ME., 
AND WHEN HE WAS JUST ABOUT TO LEAVE THEM 
HE WROTE THE FOLLOWING LINES IN IMITATION OF 
BURNS, AND LEFT THEM WITH MR. JOSEPH LADD, 
WHO HAD TREATED HIM WITH MUCH KINDNESS. 



Fare fa' ye Joe, my canty Ladd, 
Nae feckless whim can mak' thee sad ; 
Whan gear comes linkin' in ye 're glad, 

An' blithe ye feel ; 
Mair Men's like yon I wish I had, 

Wi' hearts as leal ! 
Ilk dollar that ye sen' awa', 
May it return ere night wi' twa, 
An' peace, an' plenty, bless your ha,' 

An' a' concerns ; 
An' nae misfortune e'er befa' 

Your wife an' bairns. 



* The above lines were soon afterwards published in 
the Belfast paper, and copied into several papers in 
New Hampshire. In making the above-mentioned visit, 
the Bard formed a partial acquaintance with the Rev. 
William Frothingham, who showed him an address to 
the u Airshire Bard," by a lady in Gorham, and Eliza- 
beth Hamilton's compact with old age. 



TO MISS ELIZABETH WILLIAMS. 257 



ROBERT D1NSMOOR TO MISS ELIZABETH 
WILLIAMS* WITH A COPY OF MRS. E. 
HAMILTON'S! AIN FIRESIDE. FEB. 22, 1826. 



Dear Betsey, I've copied *'The Braes o' GleDiiiffer,' 
Those beautiful stanzas, o' TauDsbill wi' pride, 
O ! wae worth the fortune, that left him to suffer, 
His glory and fame to be drown'd in the Clyde ! 

How faithfu' to nature he paints the fair maiden, 
Caress'd by her lover at "Stanley green shaw ! " 
But mute are the songsters an' nature's a' fadin', 
An' naething can charm her whan Jonnie's awa'. 

That heart maun be harder than stane, without feel- 
ing, 
That bosom I'm sure must be colder than snow, 



* Miss Elizabeth Williams was daughter of Rev. Simon 
Williams of Windham, N. H., born there July 6, 1771 ; 
married Rev. William Miltimore of Derry, N. H. ; re- 
sided near Falmouth, Me. (See the Bard's letter to Rev. 
Mr. Miltimore at her death.) 

f Mrs. Elizabeth Hamilton, according to the Bard's 
lines, the title of "Mrs." must have been one of cour- 
tesy, which was often used. 

She wrote a beautiful poem in the Scotch dialect, 



258 TO MISS ELIZABETH WILLIAMS. 

When down her fair cheeks the tear drops are steal- 
ing, 
That melts na at sic a true picture o' wo ! 

O could she ance mair but receive her sweet treasure, 
The cauld blasts o' winter could gie her nae pain, 
The loud roaring torrent would add to her pleasure, 
Gif she could but see her dear Jonnie again. 



entitled "My Ain Fireside." In relation to this the 
"Rustic Bard" wrote as follows to Miss Elizabeth 
Williams on Feb. 22, 1826 : 

"It is to be noticed that Miss Elizabeth Hamilton, 
that beautiful poetess, possessing so much goodness of 
heart, never married." 

" O sad was her fate, that her heart never fann, 
The joys o' a bride wi' a happy young man ! 
Why should sic a blessing to her be deny'd, 
As a social guid man, at her ain fireside? " 

She was born in 1758 ; died in 1816. A native of Bel- 
fast, Ireland, brought up in Scotland, and author of 
"The Cottages of Glenburnie," published in 1S08. 



TO REV. WILLIAM MILTIMORE. 259 



ROBERT DINSMOOR TO THE REV. WILLIAM 
MILTLVIORE, FALMOUTH, ME. 



Rev. and Dear Sir : 

I have seen and read your mournful and affecting 
letter to your sister, N. W., announcing the death 
of your beloved Betsey, the dear wife of your youth, 
and the tender mother of your darling children — 
with a request to me for some of my poetry, for 
her grave-stone. I confess, sir, I feel myself 
entirely incompetent to write anything suitable to 
be engraven as a lasting memento of the character 
of the truly worthy and amiable Mrs. Miltimore. 
But being prompted by a regard for the real worth 
and merit of the deceased, and to perpetuate the 
memory of one of my own acquaintance, whom I 
so much valued when alive, and also from a desire 
to gratify you, in some measure, I wrote the en- 
closed epitaph, which I intended to show you on 
your return from Philadelphia ; at which time I 
expected a visit from you, having understood you 
were to return through Windham. But being disap- 
pointed in my expectation, I now venture to enclose 
and send it to you, putting the highest confidence 
in your friendship and candor, trusting you will not 
make any undue use of it. 



260 TO REV. WILLIAM MILTIMORE. 

Sincerely, sir, with you I sympathise, 

Your sorrow claims a tribute from my eyes ; 

A debt so just, to pay it gives relief, 

"For social pleasure is in social grief." 

My heart inured to sorrow, feels for you, 

And at your tale of woe it bleeds anew ! 

The clock struck twelve, when sunk in tranquil 

rest, 
No anxious care disturb'd the peaceful breast ; 
The bold invader with his deadly spear, 
Approach'cl your bed and pierced your Betsey 

dear ! 
You saw your darling writhe, and gasp for breath, 
And close her eyes fast in the sleep of death ! 
O, sir, your office long has been to try 
And wipe the melting tear from sorrow's eye ; 
Hast thou not often raging grief to calm, 
With soothing words pour'd in consoling balm? 
And wounded souls directed to repair, 
To Gilead's balm, and the Physician there, 
Whose medicine alone can ease the smart, 
And comfort give to every broken heart ? 
Your own advice — O ! be not slack to try it, 
The doctrine's good, if wisely you apply it. 

That you and your dear daughters may experience 
that consolation in your trouble which the religion 
you profess only can afford, is the prayer of your 
sincere friend. 



EPITAPH ON MADAM MILTIMORE. 261 



EPITAPH ON MADAM MILTIMORE.* 



'The week was ended, holy time begun, 
Her days were finish'd, and her work was done. 
The tender mother, and the virtuous wife, 
Received the summons, and gave up her life ! 
At midnight hour, the fatal arrow sped — 
On seraph wings her lovely spirit fled ; 
Her pious soul pursu'd the heavenly road, 
To rest eternal with her Saviour, God ! 






* Mrs. Miltimore died without any previous sickness. 
"She awoke her husband by a convulsive spasm. He 
sprang and got a light, and in a few minutes she expired 
in his presence, a few minutes after midnight, just as 
the Sabbath began. 



262 TO MISS E. C. AT CLOSE OF HER SCHOOL. 



TO MISS E. C. AT THE CLOSE OF HER 
SCHOOL IN WINDHAM. SEPT. 26, 1826. 



Fair blooming maid, instructress kind, 
Long may you cultivate the mind, 

And seeds of science plant ; 
The native heart of ev'ry child, 
Is like a forest or a wild ; 

They all true knowledge want. 
And when your well done task 's resign'd. 

Which arduous seemed and hard ; 
Then may your self-approving mind 

Yield you a sweet reward ! 

May blessing, increasing, 

WTien sorrow is forgot, 

By Heaven, be given, 

To crown your happy lot ! 



TO MR. ISAIAH WEBSTER. 263 



TO MR. ISAIAH WEBSTER, 2d, HAVERHILL, 
MASS., ON THE FLEETING NATURE OF 
TIME. JAN., 1827. 



Time teaches all a serious lesson, 
Its rapid course exceeds expression ; 
Our days and years in quick succession, 

Are past and gone ; 
A moment 's all we've in possession, 

Nor that our own. 

Should some endearing object rise, 

To gratify our longing eyes, 

From our embrace the phantom flies, 

A moment's pleasure ; 
So all our earthly comfort dies — 

Uncertain treasure ! 

By jarring fates, like heat and frost, 

We find our expectations crost ; 

From thing to thing we're torn and tost, 

Of peace bereft ; 
Enjoyment 's in privation lost, 

But grief is left. 

Time carries all her joys away, 
Nor can we make our minutes stay ; 



264 TO MR. ISAIAH WEBSTER. 

Those clear delights, be what they may, 

Of which we share ; 
Our aching hearts can only say, 

That " once they were." 

Death sweeps away both great and small, 
Its with'ring blast destroys us all, 
Just as the leaves in autumn fall, 

So mankind must ; 
Heroes, and kings, and statesmen, shall 

Return to dust. 

Even so the glorious Washington, 
Whose deeds shone brilliant as the sun, 
When he his country's freedom won, 

Resigned, his breath ; 
Great Adams too, and .Jefferson, 

Now sleep in death. 

Our first three chieftains, high renown'd, 
With presidential honors crown'd ; 
Let patriot bards their worth resound, 

And eulogize them ; 
And while the wheels of time go round, 

Immortalize them. 

Kingdoms and states, and empires stand. 

Upheld by an Almighty hand ; 

Who gives them men to rule the land, 



TO MR. ISAIAH WEBSTER. 265 

For woe or weal ; 
They prosper just by his command, 
Or sorrows feel. 

No bliss that's found in nature, can 

Give perfect happiness to man ; 

His mind was form'cl by Wisdom's plan, 

For joys that 're higher ; 
He longs for thiugs beyond his span, 

With strong desire. 

Though all to us seems imperfection, 
Disjointed parts without connection, 
Yet all moves on with good direction, 

And wise control ; 
Omniscience views with clear inspection, 

One perfect whole. 



266 LINES ON A WORK BAG. 



BY A SPECIAL REQUEST FROM THE SAME 
GENTLEMAN AND HIS LADY, THE FOL- 
LOWING LINES WERE WRITTEN FOR THE 
OTHER SIDE OF HER WORK-BAG, BY THE 
"RUSTIC BARD."' 



Thy spouse must be happy, fair dame, 

Whose sense doth thy virtues approve ; 
AVhen you as his own he can claim, 

With a heart full of permanent love. 
Be thou like the true loving kind, 

Or more gentle sweet cooing dove ! 
Then in his fond bosom you'll find, 

A river of permanent love. 

Your offspring around you shall grow ; 

Like plants in a garden or grove ; 
While mutual affection shall flow. 

Like a fountain of permanent love. 
When death brings you down as it must, 

May your souls rise triumphant above ; 

And all your affections be lost, 

In an ocean of permanent love. 



TO THE EDITOR. 26T 



TO THE EDITOR OF THE HAVERHILL 
GAZETTE AND PATRIOT. 



Dear sir, when age bids me retire, 
And lay aside my lute and lyre ; 
When all the poet's wonted fire 

Grows faint and low ; 
I scarce believe my works entire 

Would raise a glow. 

Nature, who doth of gifts dispose, 
Talents to some at random throws, 
Sometimes herself a niggard shows, 

Not flush nor free ; 
And genius sparingly bestows 

On such as me. 

Old age I fear will soon bereave me 
Of the small pittance nature gave|me ; 
And now when friends in public crave me, 

I fear to show it ; 
Lest vanity, and pride, deceive me, 

And I should rue it. 

A little volume, or collection, 

With neither system nor connection, 



268 TO THE EDITOR. 

Produc'd by chance, without direction, 

Or studied art ; 
But oft the fruit of kind affection, 

Warm from the heart. 

If learned critics should inspect, 
Expose and laugh at each defect, 
And in contempt nvy works reject, 
And scorn my name — 

! where's the friend that would protect 

And guard my fame? 

Since transient is this mortal state, 
Death sweeps away both small and great ! 

1 mourn my frieud's untimely fate, 

Who honor paid me ! 
Alas ! 'tis now a day too late, 
For him* to aid me. 

A peasant bred, of humble lore, 
'Twas nature taught my muse to soar ; 
Grant me a smile — I ask no more, 

As my reward ; 
Let candor spread her mautle o'er 

The "Rustic Bard." 



* The Hon. Silas Betton. 



TO MISS CATHARINE ABBOT. 269* 



TO MISS CATHARINE ABBOT* 

MAY 26, 1827. 



Young honov'd dame, of learned fame, 
This compliment I send you — 

Please to excuse the humble muse, 
Nor let my song offend you. 

Think not, dear friend, that I intend 
Intrusion on your goodness ; 

I ne'er could find my heart inclin'd 
To treat the fair with rudeness. 



* The recipient of this was the daughter of the late 
Rev. Jacob Abbot, who by virtue of the initial letter in 
his name stands at the head of the Register of families 
in the History of Windham, and by virtue of his excel- 
lent qualities as a Minister of the Gospel, as a citizen, 
a husband and a father of a large family of children 
whose lives have illustrated the careful and praiseworthy 
training of the father, he would well deserve to stand at 
the head of any Register of citizens of a Christian com- 
munity. At the date of the poem Miss Abbot was the 
assistant teacher of the late Rev. Ephraim Abbot, in the 
Academy in Greenland, N. II . Afterwards, when Mr. 
Abbot was elected to take charge of the Academy in 
Westford, Mass., her services were secured by the Trus- 
tees of that institution and she was for two years the 
accomplished and successful teacher in the female depart- 
ment of the Academy. It is worthy of mention in this 



270 TO MISS CATHARINE ABBOT. 

By motives pure, I would secure, 

The ladies in my favor ; 
And that my lays should meet their praise, 

I fondly would endeavor. 

None can be great, in church or state, 

Except the fair allow ; 
Nor bard can shine, till they entwine 

The laurels round his brow ! 

Then, virtuous maid, grant me your aid, 

And with my rustic hand, 
In some bright place, my page to grace, 

Fair Cath'rine's name shall stand. 



connection, that in her contract with the Trustees she 
had a stipulation that she could spend a portion of 
every winter at her father's house, for the purpose of 
instructing her younger sisters. Thus Windham had 
the benefit of her society and instruction, and the Bard 
paid her a fitting compliment in verse. At Westford 
her hand was successfully sought in marriage by the 
late Hon. John William Pitt Abbot of that place, to 
whom she was united by marriage July 18, 1833 Her 
husband was a gentleman of refined education, of habits 
and tastes congenial with her own, and during all their 
married life, of nearly forty years, their house was a 
charmed spot to all their numerous relations and still 
more numerous friends. Mrs. Abbot took a lively inter- 
est in the Academy, always aiding the teachers and 
scholars with her timely counsel and advice ; her church 
and the town library felt the influence of her ever help- 
ing hand ; the sick and unfortunate were sought out, and 
administered to by her with the soothing kindness that 






TO REV. MR. OF B- . 271 

May Heaven bestow the gift on you, 

To teach your pupils right ; 
And grant you grace, to fill your place 

With honor and delight. 



TO REV. MR. , OF B— 

SEPT. 11, 1827. 



My reverend friend, when lately I 

Approach'd abrupt your dining-room, 

Your numerous offspring met my eye ; 
The mother fair, in beauty's bloom. 

The grace was said, and all were placed 
With parents' care the board around ; 

Politeness soon made me a guest — 
Your table with abundance crown'd. 



heals sorrow and relieves suffering, and when she 
departed this life in her eighty-fourth year, not only 
her children but every one who had had the pleasure 
of her acquaintance, could "rise up and call her blessed." 



272 TO REV. MR. OF B- . 

Sure 'twas a pleasing scene to me — 
I shar'cl the feast — no matter how, 

While friendship, love, and social glee, 
Sat smiling on each parent's brow ! 

I view'd the lovely circle round, 

And thought your happiness divine ! 

But, something gave my heart a wound, 
And said, such blessing once was mine ! 

Ah me ! these flowers are favors lent 

By Heav'n — like those who gave them birth 

And soon the father may lament 

His darling mould'ring in the earth ! 

A silent prayer my heart respired — 
Bless, O my God ! the parent stock, 

And as their hearts have oft desired, 
Bless and preserve their filial flock ! 



TO MRS. SARAH DAVIDSON. 273 



TO MRS. SARAH DAVIDSON* THE BARD'S 

DAUGHTER, BELFAST, ME. 

JAN. 17, 1828. 



I. 

My Sally dear, would you be glad 
To have a Hue from your old dad? 
Though age and wint'ry blasts pursue, 
His heart still glows with love to you. 
How pleasiug were those hours to me, 
When you were prattling 'round my knee I 
When I did kiss and call you sweet, 
Your mother's heart rejoic'd to see 't. 

II. 

She made your clothes, and gave you food. 
And when her darlings round her stood, 
She taught their infant notes to rise, 
And praise their Maker in the skies ! 
Devotion then my soul inspir'cl, 
From worldly cares my heart retir'd, 
And joyful did the concert join — 
The song was harmony divine ! 



1789, 

married Sept. 2, 1819. Dea. Henry Davidson of Belfast. 
Me. She died March 26, 1864. 



274 TO MRS. SARAH DAVIDSON. 

III. 

Where joy like this could spring and grow, 

I deem'd a paradise below ! 

No earthly bliss like this could be, 

'Twas just a taste of heaven to me ! 

When I review the scenes I've past, 

A gloom upon my mind is cast — 

Those scenes that bless'd life's happy noon, 

Alas, were all withdrawn too soon ! 

IV. 

My life is solitary grown, 

I sit and muse with ma'm alone — 

I've past my three-score years and ten, 

And rank with other aged men ! 

Yet gratitude to God I owe, 

For friends and favors here below ; 

And when I bid them all adieu, 

May Heaven's best blessings rest with you. 



LINES TO HIS GRANDDAUGHTER. 275 



LINES TO HIS GRANDDAUGHTER, 

MRS, MARY BUTLER. 

APRIL 4, 1828. 



Dear Mary, long I've been inclin'd 

A verse or two to write yon, 
And carefully have sought to find 

A subject to delight you. 

Some good advice, and counsel wise, 

Perhaps may be expected ; 
I know that duty on me lies, 

Which should not be neglected. 

Although your path may not be strew'd 

Continually with flowers, 
Receive the evil with the good, 

This duty still is ours. 

The fairest morn that ever shone, 
May long ere night prove low'ry ; 

Should brambles in your way be thrown, 
Hope still it may be flowery. 

And every blessing you enjoy 

Let your companion share it ; 
When pres'd with care, 'twill give him joy, 

To see you help to bear it. 



276 INSTALLATION HYMN. 

May you 'till life on earth is past 
Still be your Maker's care, 

And land you safe in Heav'n at last r 
Shall be my humble prayer. 



HYMN: SUNG AT THE INSTALLATION OF 
REV. CALVIN CUTLER IN WINDHAM, N. H. y 
APRIL 9, 1828. 



Let ev'ry voice hosanna sing, 
And bless the name of Zion's king ; 
For an ascension gift this day, 
We'll thankfully our homage pay. 

This candlestick he ne'er withdrew, 
But trim'd the gospel lamp anew ; 
And owns this church of his good will. 
A tent of gospel Judah still. 

We'll wait the visits of his love, 
Who sends us blessings from above ; 
O ! may his grace like show'rs distil, 
And converts new his temple fill. 



TO EDWARD P. HARRIS. 277 

Long may our teacher here be blest, 
And heavenly favors on him rest ; 
Lord, let thy spirit here descend 
And bless this place till time shall end. 



ROBERT Dns T SMOOR TO EDWARD P. HARRIS,* 
OF CHESTERFIELD, N. H. 



Dear Sir, I justly am your debtor, 
For your intelligent kind letter, 
Advising me which way I'd better 

My books dispose of ; 
But evils may attend that matter, 

Which no one knows of. 

Such diffidence pervades my mind, 
To future prospects I am blind ; 
Within my little sphere coufin'd, 

As if on tenters ; 
No part to act of any kind, 

But trust the printers. 



* He was the son of Rev. Samuel Harris of Windham, 
N. H. ; born in Ashburnham, Mass., Nov. 17, 1802; was 
graduated at Dartmouth College in 1826; was Principal 



278 TO EDWARD P. HARRIS. 

My volume leaves they turn and toss y 
Cut out and trample on the dross — 
But gold that's pure sustains no loss. 

.Though tried by fire ; 
That they may have a brighter gloss r 

Is my desire. 

Sometimes I fear — but, on reflection 
They'll issue by the wise direction 
Of p**** ? famed for deep inspection r 

And critic lore ; 
I think they'll have his high protection ,. 

And many more. 

But oh ! the world is large and wide, 
Capricious too, and full of pride ; 
Both wise and simple must abide 

Its love and hate ; 
This is the court that must decide 

The poet's fate ! 

All I can tell } t ou, more or less, 
Is, that the work is in the press ; 
But how the printer makes progress, 



of several Academies; studied law, practiced at White 
lliver Junction Village, at Hartford, Vt., then went to 
Rochester Village, Avon Township, Mich., and practiced 
till his death, March 19, 1868. Various public positions 
were filled by him. He was twice married. 



TO EDWARD P. HARRIS. 279 

I cannot say ; 
That he may meet with good success, 
I hope and pray. 

'Tis now three months, and more, since T, 
In Thayer's* office, chanc'd to spy, 
Sheets of the bard, hung up to dry ; 

Nor would he ask 
Assistance, neither man nor boy — 

'Twas his own task. 

By this, I think he's almost through ; 
And when the books are bound and new, 
If there should be for me a few, 

When costs are paid, 
One volume I'll reserve for you — 

But I'm afraid. 

Yet, if it may your feelings suit, 
And I have books to distribute, 
I by these presents constitute 

No pompous pageant ; 
But you shall be, without dispute, 

My trusty agent. 

What though some envious pedants frown, 
And cry my works, as worthless, down, 



* Printer in Haverhil 



280 TO SIR WALTER SCOTT. 

And hiss me as a vulgar clown, 



Say things that're hard ; 
Fair hands may yet with laurels, crown 
The "Rustic Bard." 



TO SIR WALTER SCOTT — WITH A COPY OF 

THE RUSTIC BARD'S POEMS. 

JAN. 20, 18:30. 



Famed and renowned Sir Walter Scott, 
Thy name resounds through lauds remote 
Thou stand'st the head of all that wrote 

In Scottish story, 
And celebrated bards of note 

Outshines in glory. 

When sung in " the last minstrel's lay " 
The feuds of the old "Border day," 
On raptured wings I soar away 

To Branksome's Hall ; 
On Teviot's dale, in bloody fray, 

See Musgrave fall. 



TO SIR WALTER SCOTT. 281 

I'll not presume thy works to praise, 

Nor add a lustre to thy bays ; 

The flowery wreaths that round thee blaze 

No art can varnish — 
The present notes of my best lays 

"Would only tarnish. 

Although no idol god I greet 
With sacrifice of odors sweet, 
I la}* this volume at your feet 

As homage due ; 
Regard it just as you think meet, 

My gift to you. 

Robert Dins-moor — The Rustic Bard. 



282 TO MRS. SARAH PARK. 



TO MRS. SARAH PARK* A VISITOR, 

183-2. 



Welcome, my niece, to this retreat, 
Where rural scenes thine eyes ma}? greet > 
See friends in social circles meet 

In house or field — 
And pluck the flowers and berries sweet 

Which gardens yield. 



Fair stranger — welcome to that dome 
Your husband's parents called their home ; 
Through flowery pastures you may roam, 

Breathe fragrant air, 
See Policy's bright waters foam, 

And lilies there. 



* She was daughter of Robert Allcock, a shipwright, 
and married a uephew of the Bard, Dea. William Park 
of Boston, Mass., Feb. 9, 1832. She was an attractive 
person, lovable in character, a fitting companion for her 
equally estimable husband, who died Nov. 9, 1881. She 
was born May 5, 1S02; died Oct. 2, 1883. 



TO MRS. SARAH PARK. 283* 

To hear the thrush and robin sing, 
What pleasure to our ears they bring, 
When all the woods and valleys ring 

With songs so sweet, 
And see them move on rapid wing, 

Their mates to meet. 



Those living pictures need no art 
To charm a feeling female's heart — 
The scented breezes health impart 

With sweet perfume, 
And make those stagnant humors start 

Which cause a gloom. 



No matter where your lot is cast, 
For summer will not always last ; 
The flower must fall before the blast 

Of autumn's air, 
And death's cold winter seize them fast,. 

Though ne'er so fair. 



Whatever place may be your lot, 
In city dome or village cot, 
Content will always bless the spot 

Where love abides — 
E'en luxury 's not worth a groat 

Till peace presides. 



284 DEDICATION ODE. 

Here let my limping numbers cease, 
My song no longer youth can please — 
Farewell, young stranger, and my niece, 

A long adieu. 
May Heaven's best blessings and true peace 

Abide with yon. 



ODE, SUNG AT THE DEDICATION OF THE 
NEW BRICK SCHOOL-HOUSE IN WINDHAM, 
IN DISTRICT NO. 1. 



I. 

Come let our social voices raise 
A hymn, to our Creator's praise, 
Who makes us see with joyful eyes, 
This beauteous dome from ruin rise. 



* It was erected on the same spot where a former 
house was consumed by fire. 



DEDICATION ODE. 286- 



II. 



O, may almighty power and grace, 
Watch o'er, and guard this sacred place, 
Long may these walls repel the storm, 
Shelter our youth, aud keep them warm.. 



III. 

Let not this building stand in vain, 
Like Babel's tower, on Shinar's plain,. 
Nor let a pedant's drawling sound 
E'er enter, language to confound. 



IV. 

May this a seat of science be, 
And knowledge spring from error free ;: 
May pious precepts here be taught, 
And form the bent of every thought. 



V. 

May virtuous teachers here preside, 
Who wisely shall their pupils guide, 
And hither let our children meet, 
Like students, 'round Gamaliel's feet. 



286 DEDICATION ODE. 



VI. 



Here let young minds like flowers expand, 
And spread sweet science o'er the land ; 
Hence, matrons rise, and sages great, 
To ornament both church and state. 



VII. 

Here let the tree of knowledge grow, 
And streams of love and virtue flow ; 
Let nothing ever cast a stain, 
~While time and nature last — Amen. 



APPENDIX. 



Hon. James Dinsmoor, of Sterling, Illinois, son 
of William and Elizabeth (Barnett) Dinsmoor, and 
grandson of William and Elizabeth (Cochran) 
Dinsmoor, of Windham, N. H. (His father was a 
brother of the "Rustic Bard" ; see his pedigree in 
the Preface.) He was born in Windham, March 3, 
1818. He was prepared for college at Phillips 
Academy, Andover, Mass., at Pinkerton Academy 
at Derry, N. H., and was graduated at Dartmouth 
College in 1841. He then was preceptor of the 
Academy at Schuylerville, N. Y., one year; at 
Westford, Mass., two years; read law with Judge 
Hopkinson at Lowell, Mass., and was admitted to 
the bar in 1846, and engaged in the practice of law 
in that city. During his residence there he assisted 
in the organization of the Traders and Mechanics 
Insurance Co., and for eight years was its secre- 
tary and treasurer ; was a member of the city 
council, and in 1850 and '51 was a representative 
to the Massachusetts legislature from that city. 
In 1856, for the benefit of his health, which was 
much impaired, he left a successful business in 
Lowell, Mass., went to Illinois, selected about 1000 
acres of land in one body, on which he built a resi- 
dence commensurate with his family wants, and the 
needs of the owner of such an estate for oversight 
and cultivation, on which he has since resided. 
In 1857 he assumed the practice of law, which has 
been continued in connection with the supervision 



288 HON. JAMES DINSMOOOR. 

of his farm. While his home is nearly six miles- 
from his office, for many years neither sickness nor 
bad traveling kept him from his business. For 
four years he represented Whitesides County in the 
legislature of Illinois. In 1888 he was one of the 
presidential electors for the state of Illinois. 

The demands of an exacting business and pro- 
fessional life have not lessened his interest in his 
friends, relatives, and regard for his native town. 
To the latter he has made frequent pilgrimages. 
He has shown his love for his kindred by preparing- 
a "History of the Dinsmoor Family" of 75 pages, 
published in 1883, in the "History of Windham, 
New Hampshire." "All his tribe" owe him a debt 
of gratitude which they cannot discharge, for pre- 
serving their family history in a manner so thorough,, 
in form so attractive, in language so pleasing, in 
sentiment so refined and elevated. Prepared with 
thought and care, it shows fruits of a kind and 
disciplined mind on ever} 7 page. It stands in the 
rank of family histories. 

In recent years he showed his respect for the 
place of his nativity, by accepting a most cordial 
invitation given him to deliver the main address at 
the "Celebration of the 150th anuiversary of the 
Incorporation of Windham, New Hampshire," held 
June 9, 1892. He responded, came on from his 
western home, and gratuitously delivered an inter- 
esting and valuable historical address, which is 
printed and lastingly preserved in the book which 
gives the history and proceedings of that important 
occasion. He is the author of the Introduction of 
the second edition of these poems, which is the third 
literary and historical achievement which has cast 
added lustre on the municipality of his birth. 



HON. JAMES DINSMOOR. 289 

In his mental characteristics he is conservative, 
safe, with excellent judgment, thoroughly reliable, 
with strong qualities of his pure Scotch-blooded 
ancestors. 

After haviug practiced law assiduously and suc- 
cessfully in the courts of Massachusetts, Illinois, 
and the supreme court at Washington, D. C, he 
has retired from its practice to enjoy a residence 
Avhich a Shenstone might have admired, and a rest 
so richly earned. 

He married, Sept. 3, 1846, the daughter of Wil- 
lard and Sarah (Hatch) Carpenter, of Sharon, Vt., 
who died Aug. 14, 1886. He married 2d, her 
younger sister, Mrs. Mary M. (Carpenter) True, 
June 1, 1887, who died March 15, 1896. He mar- 
ried 3d, at Washington, D. C, Sept. 24, 1896, 
Mrs. Ansie Gould Annis, of Hudson, N. H. 



Children. Taken from " History of Windham, in New 
Hampshire." 

1. Frank W., b. Jan. 12, 1848, d. Aug. 31, 1849. 

2. Alice, b. Sept. 4, 1849, at Lowell, Mass. ; grad. Vas- 

sal* College 1873 ; has taught in Trow, O. ; spent 
eighteen months in travel in Europe, and is a teacher 
of Latin in Miss Rounds' Seminary, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

3. Jarvis, b. April 11, 1851, Lowell, Mass.; fitted for 

college at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. ; grad. 
Dartmouth College 1895; read law at the Union 
Law School, Chicago, and engaged in the practice 
at Sterling, 111., where he still resides ; m. Feb. 1881, 
Kate Curran, at Kansas City, Mo. 

4. Florence Amanda, b. at Lowell, Mass., Oct. 1853; 

grad. Vassar College, 1864; studied phonography, 
and is a shorthand reporter; m. Oct. 19, 1881, James 
F. Covey. 

Leonard Allison Morrison. 



290 DINSMOOR HISTORICAL LETTER. 



DINSMOOR HISTORICAL LETTER. 



A LETTER FROM ROBERT DINSMORE, OF BELLYWATTICK, 
BALLYMONY COUNTY, ANTRIM IRELAND, TO JOHN DINS- 
MOOR OF WINDHAM, N. H. , CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF 
THE DINSMOOR FAMILY, DATED BELLYWATTICK, AUG. 
12, 1794. HE RETAINED A CORRESPONDENCE WITH 
MR. DINSMOOR, WHO WENT TO DERRY ABOUT 1800. 



My Dear Sir : In July last, I received your 
affectionate letter of 22cl February, 1794, where 
you have given me a full and clear answer to my 
letter of May 12th, 1793, which was directed to 
your honoured father. But, alas ! no more ! May 
I not bid adieu to North America. Submission is 
a duty, therefore, I shall only acid — I shall go to 
him, but he shall not return to me. It gives me 
consolation that he has left a son and heir blest 
with his principles and talents. I see you feel for 
the commotions of Europe, and for the arbitrary 
proceedings of our government in particular. You 
give them hard names. Indeed, so could we, but 
dare not ; we are brought to submission indeed. 
While our lives are protected by the laws, we must 
submit our property to the discretion of govern- 
ment without a murmur or complaint. Provided 
our taxes, which are heav} 7 , were disposed of for 
internal defence of our country, and encouragement 



DIXSMOOR HISTORICAL LETTER. 291 

of our trade and manufactures, we would pay more 
cheerfully. But when we see it levied to support 
a ruinous war, that we think Great Britain had 
nothing to do with, we complain the more. At 
this moment, the eyes of all Ireland are looking 
earnestly for the completion of your peace with 
Great Britain, on which the trade of Ireland much 
depends. We know you have sent a late commis 
sioner from congress to the court of Great Britain, 
a Mr. Jay ; but as nothing has yet transpired in 
respect to Ireland, I must be silent. 

I had a long letter from your brother Silas, in 
May last, which I answered. It raises my pride to 
find that there is a Dinsmore in any part of the 
globe, so capable of composition, as I see the 
writer of this letter to be. The more so, when I 
can truly call him friend and cousin. 

As to your request concerning the genealogy of 
our family, you have been pretty fortunate indeed in 
calling on me, as I assure you there is not a man 
living within the reach of my knowledge, that can 
go as far up in that description as I can. Never- 
theless, it may be short of what history could afford. 
Please take the following. My grandfather was 
born on the mean land of Scotland, near the river 
Tweed ; the son of a wealthy farmer, as I suppose 
from his style, being called the Laird of Achenmead, 
as he had tenants under him. He had two sons, of 
which my grandfather was the second, whose name 
was John. He left his father's house in the 1 7th year 
of his age. I suppose he must have eloped, as he 
brought no property with him, as I often heard, save 
a grey bonnet, of great extent, with striped woolen 
hose, and a small cane in his hand. This is your 
original in Ireland, and mine ; and all by the name 
of Dinsmore here or elsewhere, that belong to that 



292 DINSMOOR HISTORICAL LETTER. 

stock. Therefore, you will be ready to say, we 
have little to boast of. But stay a little my dear 
friend, and let us go a little higher, and return to 
Scotland. You see, as above, we are sprung from 
a farmer. Will this give us any dignity ? Yes — 
the most ancient, the most honorable in civil life. 
The second man in creation was a farmer. Cain 
was a tiller of the ground. What are monarchs? 
What are Kings, Dukes, Lords and Earls? What 
was Alexander, or Philip of Macedonia, but murder- 
ing vagabonds ! The character of a farmer is far 
above them all. Stop but the farmer and his cul- 
ture, and you sweep off: the human race at one 
stroke. So you see that the farmer's station is 
exalted above all others. Therefore our pedigree is 
higher than any other whatever. 

I must crave your patience. Suffer me then to 
return to my grandfather and his offspring, of which 
you are a sprout. This man had four sons, John, 
Adam, Robert, and Samuel. John was the first 
that migrated to America of the name, and the 
first that struck a stick in Londondeny. This 
man was your grandfather's father, and my uncle, 
who surmounted many difficulties in providing a 
large and free estate for his offspring, and in the 
attempt, was made an Indian captive. 

Permit me to observe a circumstance with respect 
to my grandfather's leaving his father's house with- 
out any property, which may elucidate the hint before 
observed respecting it, which is this — I never 
heard this man give any other reason or cause for 
his leaving his father's house, but this ; that his 
father obliged him, and that uncovered, to hold the 
off stirrup of his elder brother's saddle, when he 
mounted his horse. A subordination that appeared 
not to agree with this man's proud heart. May it 



DINSMOOR HISTORICAL LETTER. 293 

riot be an heirship entailed on his offspring ? And 
if so, whether virtue or vice, I leave with you to 
determine, although I am no advocate for virtue or 
vice being hereditary. To conclude then, this man 
lived until he was 99 years of age. He was fifty 
years married, and twenty-nine years a widower, 
which ended his life, much respected by all. who 
were acquainted with him, for his piety, morals and 
good sense. Now sir, I have gone as far as my 
memory could assist me in answering your request. 
But there is yet something remains which may grat- 
ify your inquisitive mind, in the line of heraldry. 
The Dinsmore coat of arms, is a farm, laid down 
on a plate of a green color, with three wheat sheaves 
set upright in the centre of a yellow color, all 
emblematical of husbandry and agriculture. 

Robert Dinsmore. 



294 JAMES COCHRAN : THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 



JAMES COCHRAN, THE INDIAN CAPTIVE, 

OF 

The Cochran Family History. 

Ninian Cochran 1 and his brother James Cochran 1 , 
came with the first settlers from the County of Lon- 
donderry, Ireland, and were finally driven to Casco 
Bay, Portland, Maine, and made their way to Lon- 
donderry, N. H., by land. Later John Cochran 1 
made a temporary settlement in Brunswick, Me. 
Nathaniel 1 and William 1 , in all five brothers, eventu- 
ally came to Londonderry, N. H. All had been in 
the siege of Londonderry, Ireland. 

Ninian Cochran 1 was a surveyor, and lived in 
what is now Kilrea, Berry. This is four or five 
miles from the home of his relative, Capt. John 
Cochran 1 of Windham. He was killed by being 
thrown from his horse, at what is now Suncook. 

James Cochran 2 came to Suncook in 1748 or '50. 
John Cochran 1 came to Suncook in about 1737, and 
built the first saw and grist mill in Suncook ; but I 
will turn now to a scene in his early life, 1728. 
When in the State of Maine, at Brunswick, if the 
rustic bard is correct, and with his son Jamie, his 
son was captured by three Indians ; they rowed him 
in their canoe all day up the river. When they 
encamped for the night, he was made to lie down 
between them. The Indians soon slept, and he 
crept to their tomahawks, placing two in his left 
hand, and with his right he buried one in each 
Indians' head. He took their scalps and his gun, 
but lost one scalp and the gun crossing the river on 



JAMES COCHRAN : THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 295 

a fallen tree. He started down the river and before 
morning was opposite his father's home. The next 
day he took a party to the place where the Indians 
lay, buried them and found his gun, but not the 
scalp, where he crossed the river on the fallen tree. 

The British government paid forty dollars apiece 
for scalps, and the nights adventure brought him 
one hundred and twenty dollars. 

He was always afterward known as "Indian 
Jamie." In after years when speaking of the deed, 
he would say, " It is hard to think you have deprived 
those beings in the form of the human race of life." 

His father removed to Londonderry, and finally 
to Suncook. "Indian Jamie" lived his youth in 
Suncook, and in mature manhood, in Londonderry, 
N. H., where he died Feb. 17, 1795, aged 85 years. 

Well do I remember the Ms., oblong pages in the 
last of the book of the u Rustic Bard" ; they were 
long, they were worn and dingy, having stood two- 
thirds of a century. I commenced to search for 
the hero of Maine, but I found him not, when the 
record of an aged man, George Cochran, being 85 
years the 10th day of Dec, 1897, was sent to me 
for an entirely different purpose ; it led up to his 
life history. 

Hon. Martin H. Cochran, now living in Pem- 
broke, is a great-grandson of John Cochran 1 . 

Joseph A. Cochran, City Clerk of Concord, N. H., 
is a descendent of this same family. The Capt. 
John Cochran 1 branch of Windham, N. H., were 
connections of this family before the emigration 
from Londonderry, Ireland, and were recognized as 
such here. 

The family resemblance has descended, in a 
marked degree, to the present time, as shown par- 
ticularly in the strong resemblance of Mr. Joseph 



296 JAMES COCHRAN : THE INDIAN CAPTIVE. 

A. Cochran to Mr. Isaac A. Cochran of Melrose, 
Mass, a representative of the Windham tribe. 

Once in a public conveyance I ( being part Coch- 
ran) was addressed as Mr. Cochran of Concord, 
by a person who knew him, but had no knowledge 
of me. 



THE McKEEN FAMILY. 29T 



THE McKEEN FAMILY. 

William McKeen 1 , a Scotch Covenanter, in Scot- 
land, is the first known of the McKeen family.* 
After the killing of Archbishop Sharpe he was 
brought before the barbarous Claverhouse, the per- 
secutor of the Covenanters, and questioned, "Was 
the killing of Archbishop Sharpe murder ? " If he 
answered No, it was death; if he answered Yes, 
he was to be released. In answer to this query 
William McKeen 1 said: "I am nae laayer and 
could na tell," but he had heard that "it was an 
unlafoo' deed." The tactful answer saved him. 
He fled to a Scotch settlement in the north of Ire- 
land and became what is usually called, one of the 
Scotch-Irish. His son, 

William McKeen 2 , was a defender of London- 
derry. In 1688-89, when upon a foraging expedi- 
tion, the foe being in ambush, he was plundered 
and left for dead. He revived, and found himself 
bereft of all clothing save a hat. He was called 
William ye Soldier. (In Parker's History of Lon- 
donderry, N. H., he is called James.) This 
William 2 had a son Justice James McKeen 3 , born 
in 1665 ; lived in Ballymoney, County of Antrim, 
Ireland. A man of marked power and influence in 
the settlement. Was the chief mover in the emigra- 
tion to Londonderry, N. H., in 1718-19. He was 
twice married and had 21 children. His 1st wife 



* Page 3, History of McKeen Family: By Roberdean 
Buchanan. Pub. 1890. 



298 THE MCKEEN FAMILY. 

was Janet Cochran ; his 2d wife was Aunis Cargil, 
who died in Londonderry, N. H., Aug. 8, 1782," in 
her 94th year. He died in Londonderry, N. H., 
Nov. 9, 1756. He spelled his name as here printed 
— as shown in autograph. 
Among his children were : 

Elizabeth McKeen 4 , b. 1696; d. in Londonderry,^ 7 ". H., 
April 27, 1768, aged 67 yrs. She married in Ireland, 
James Nesmith. They were one of the first sixteen 
families who located in Londonderry, "N". H., April 
22, 1719, and were the ancestors of most, if not all, 
the Nesmiths of New Hampshire. 

Jennie McKeen 4 , b. 1708; d. April 16, 1790, in Windham, 
N. H., in her 72d year. She married her cousin, 
Capt. John Cochran of Windham. Their daughter, 
Elizabeth Cochran 5 , married about 1755, William 
Dinsmoor. Among her children were Robert Dins- 
moor 6 , the "Rustic Bard," b. Oct. 7, 1757, author 
of these poems. Margaret Dinsmoor 6 , b. Oct. 14, 
1759; married for 2d husband Dea. Samuel Mor- 
rison, and they were the parents of Jeremiah 
Morrison 7 , who married Eleanor Reed Kimball. 
They were the parents of Leonard Allison Morrison, 
the editor and compiler of this book. William Dins- 
moor 6 , b. Feb. 17, 1772; married Elizabeth Barnett, 
and was the father of Hon. James Dinsmoor, of 
Sterling, 111., the author of the Introduction of these 
poems. 

John McKeen 4 , b. April 13, 1715; married his cousin 
Mary McKeen 4 . Joseph McKeen 5 , who was a cousin 
to the mother of the "Rustic Bard.*' He was born 
in Londonderry, N. H., Oct. 15, 1757. 

Mary McKeen 4 , married Robert Boyd of Londonderry, 
X. H. Their daughter, Mary Boyd 5 , married Joseph 
Park' 2 , son of Alexander Park 1 , the emigrant of 
Windham, N. H. 

Rev. Joseph McKeen 5 , D. D., prepared for college 
under Rev. Simon Williams of Windham, gradu- 
ated at Dartmouth College in 1774. He taught 
school for several years in Windham. The "Rustic 



THE MCKEEN FAMILY. 299 

Bard" says, in my sketch " I made mention of him 
in a manner hardly suitable to his high and justly 
esteemed character. He was a young man for 
whom I had the highest respect. I was just one 
week older than he. Although he was sometimes 
tardy, yet he possessed a manly spirit, a strong, 
persevering and independent mind. Upon particu- 
lar occasions he would absent himself a whole day 
from school, without giving any notice. One of 
those days I attended at the old schoolhouse, 
and having no master, I wrote the verses and 
pinned them up at his window with above address. 
Although the piece was pointed and severe, yet he 
always acknowledged it had merit. I did not know 
that he would ever be President of Bowdoin Col- 
lege." (For full biography of President McKeen, 
see Rev. Edward Parker's History of Londondeny, 
N. H., p. 224.) 



300 GEN. JOHN SULLIVAN. 



JOHN SULLIVAN. 

Major General John Sullivan of tbe Continental 
Army was born in Somersworth, New Hampshire, 
Feb. 18, 1740. 

His father, Owen Sullivan, a native of Arclea, 
County of Kerry, Ireland, had there received a lib- 
eral education, and came to this country and located 
near Somersworth, and was the instructor of } T outh 
in that vicinity for half a centuiy and was known 
as Master Sullivan. To his careful training the son 
John, as well as his brother James, who died while 
holding the office of Governor of Massachusetts, 
were indebted for that education which enabled them 
to till with success the many positions of honor and 
trust held by each in after life. 

John at the age of fifteen years entered the fam- 
ily of Judge Livermore of Portsmouth, as a chore 
bo}% and soon after by easy stages, entered his office 
at the Judge's request, as law student. Aud before 
his majorit} T , was engaged in a lucrative practice in 
Durham, N. H. ; had married a wife and built for 
himself a house in which he made his home. Earl} T 
in life he gave his leisure to military history and 
organized a military company of his associates for 
the purpose of drill in arms. In the spring of 1774 
he was elected a member of the Provincial Assembly 
of New Hampshire, and in September of that year 
he was elected the first delegate from that state to 
the Continental Congress at Philadelphia. In that 
Congress he was made chairman of the committee 
upon the grievances of the people, and from that 
committee reported a set of articles which were 



GEN. JOHN SULLIVAN. 301 

drawn, as says John Adams iu bis diary, by Mr. 
John Sullivan of New Hampshire and contained 
two declarations, the one of rights and the other 
of violations, printed in the Journals of Congress 
of 1774, and afterwards recapitulated in the Declar- 
ation of Independence on the the 4th of July, 1776. 
On his return home in December of the same year 
he planned an attack on Fort William and Mary at 
New Castle in Portsmouth Harbor, and, as Major 
in command, took a gondola, went down the river 
in the night of the 15th of that month to Ports- 
mouth, where the company were joined by John 
Langdon (afterwards Governor of the state) and a 
few equally bold associates, surprised the garrison, 
took the Captain and bound him, frightened away 
the soldiers, took one hundred casks of powder 
and the small arms of the Fort, made their way 
back to Durham the same night and stored the 
powder under the pulpit of the meetinghouse. This 
was the first armed resistance to the mother country 
by any of the Colonists. With a part of that 
powder, on the 17th of June the next year, the 
New Hampshire men under Stark and Reicl gave 
the world the first object lesson of what volunteer 
soldiers could do in Rebellion to the British Govern- 
ment, and without that powder there would have 
been no Bunker Hill monument. 

That seizure by Sullivan was a fitting " set off" 
to the then recent order of the British King and 
Council, prohibiting military stores being exported 
to this country. He was one of the eight Brigadier- 
Generals first elected by the Continental Congress ; 
was placed in command of the Eastern Division 
by Washington with headquarters at Winter Hill. 
Subsequently held important commands, including 
the subjugation of the six nations of Indians in 



302 GEN. JOHN SULLIVAN. 

New York, which state, with civic and military 
honors, celebrated the one hundredth anniversary 
with a fitting monument to the memory of the Com- 
mander. 

At the close of that most successful campaign, 
with the thanks of Congress, he resigned his com- 
mission as Major-General and returned to his home 
in Durham to recuperate his physical powers worn 
by five years' service in the Army. But his fellow- 
citizens sent him back to the Continental Congress. 
There he was made chairman of the Committee of 
Finance, then considered the most difficult position 
in that body. 

The state of New Hampshire somewhat tardily, 
with fitting ceremonies, erected and dedicated a 
monument to his memory at Durham on that spot 
where was concealed the powder , taken by his tact 
and skill from Fort William and Mary. But, better 
than all monuments to his memory, must have been 
to him the proofs that his services at the Bar and 
on the Bench of the Courts of Justice, in the Halls 
of State and National Legislation, on the hard- 
fought fields of battle for national existence, and 
in the Gubernatorial Chair of his native state — 
were duly appreciated by his beloved fellow-citizens. 

James Dinsmook. 



See Diary of John Adams, Life by T. C. Amorj'. 



GEN. JOHN STARK. 303 



GEN. JOHN STARK. 



Geii'l John Stark was born in Londonderry, New 
Hampshire, August 28, 1728. He was the son of 
Archibald Stark and Elizabeth Nichols, his wife. 
The father was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1697, 
and was educated at the university of that city. 
His father removed from Scotland to Londonderry, 
Ireland — with his family — and from thence Archi- 
bald, with his wife and children, embarked with a 
company of adventurers, in 1720, for New Hamp- 
shire. After a tedious voyage the vessel reached 
Boston, Mass., but was not permitted to land because 
some were ill of small pox, and were obliged to sail 
for the coast of Maine, and passed the winter at 
Sheepscot. In the course of the following year, 
after enduring untold hardships and privations, they 
reached their Scotch-Irish friends in Londonderry, 
N. H., for which place they had embarked the year 
before. There he built himself a house and reared 
his family. Four of his sous held commissions in 
the British service during the seven years' French 
war. He made use of his own education at the 
university of Glasgow to educate his children, and 
the army correspondence of Gen'l John Stark, 
which suffers not a whit when compared with that 
of the best army officers, from A\ r est Point attests 
the worth of that education both to the father and 
the son. The early life of General Stark illustrates 
the condition of the early settlers of New Hamp- 
shire. 

In March, 1752, in company with his older 
brother William, David Stinson, and Amos East- 



304 GEN. JOHN STARK. 

man, he started on a hunting expedition to Baker's 
river. They built a camp of hemlock boughs and 
bark, in which they deposited their provisions, 
ammunition, and traps, and made it their head- 
quarters. The game was abundant, and before the 
28th of April they had collected furs of the value 
of £560 sterling. On that day they were surprised 
by a party of St. Francis Indians, and John was 
taken prisoner. On the next day Eastman was 
taken prisoner and Stinson killed. The former two 
were taken to St. Francis, and there compelled to 
run the gauntlet between two files of young war- 
riers, each armed with a club to strike the prisoner 
as he passed. On that occasion, as Stark relates, 
he knocked down with his tist the first one that 
struck him, and never saw him afterwards, and 
turning his club right and left as he passed, scat- 
tered the young warriors to the great amusement of 
the old Indians. In July following Mr. Wheel- 
right, of Boston, and Capt. Stevens, of Charles- 
town, N. H., having been sent by Massachusetts to 
redeem her captives, arrived at Montreal, and learn- 
ing of the captivity of Stark and Eastman near 
there, kindly relieved them from captivity by pur- 
chase of each, paying one hundred and three dollars 
for Stark, and sixty for Eastman. On the next 
season Stark went down to the Androscoggin river 
to hunt, in order to raise the means to discharge 
his redemption debt, in which he was successful, 
and returned with a valuable lot of furs. This fact 
shows the condition of the settlers at that time. 
The furs of the wild animals of the forest and 
flood were their articles of merchandise. 

The limits of this article will not permit the 
writer to follow in detail a narrative of his 
exploits in the old French war, in the Roger's Ran- 



GEN. JOHN STARK. 305 

gers, of which he might have said of himself as 
did Virgil's hero, "Magna pass ful." 

The character of the service rendered by the 
Rogers' Rangers in the old French war, as it has 
alwa}^ been called, as well as the condition of the 
early settlers of this country, can be best shown 
by relating a single incident from the large list of 
the seven years' struggles with the native bands of 
savages, aided as they were by the military supplies 
and skilled officers of France that then had the 
Canadas as a base of supplies. In January 1757 
a detachment of rangers went from Fort William 
Henry, at the head of Lake George, to intercept 
supplies passing between Crown Point and Ticon- 
deroga, then held by the French. They passed 
over Lake George and turned the latter fortress 
without being observed. They captured several 
sleds and destroyed their loading, but one escaped 
and was driven back to the fort. Knowing that 
the garrison would immediately be notified of their 
presence in that vicinity, the party began their 
retreat homeward. When at the distance of three 
miles from Ticonderoga they were, in the afternoon 
of January 21, suddenly attacked by a force of 
French and Indians of more than double their own 
number, and a desperate and bloody encounter 
ensued. Major Rogers was twice wounded, Capt. 
ttpikeman was killed, and the command devolved on 
Lieutenant Stark as senior officer, who by his pru- 
dence and firmness, secured the wounded and drew 
off the detachment in such order as to keep the 
enemy at bay, and by marching all night they 
reached Lake George by eight o'clock next morning. 
The wounded who during the night march had kept 
up their spirits, were by that time so overcome with 
cold, fatigue, and loss of blood, that they could 



306 GEN". JOHN" STARK. 

march do further. It became necessary to forward 
notice to the fort that sleighs might be sent for 
them. Lietenaut Stark volunteered for this pur- 
pose, and with snow shoes — the snow being at that 
time four feet deep on a level — he started for Fort 
William He my, forty miles distant, which he 
reached the next morning. Sleds were dispatched 
to bring in the wounded, who arrived at the fort on 
the evening of January 23d. Thus we see they 
fought a furious battle on the 21st, marched ail 
night through the snow without shelter, in that 
dense forest, the next day Stark, without rest, 
walks 40 miles further through the same forest 
without food or rest, for a force to rescue his com- 
rades from their perilous condition. 

It is related that before the sleighs came to the 
relief of the men they observed a dark object fol- 
lowing at a distance on the ice, and supposing it 
might be one of their wounded comrades, a sleigh 
was sent out to him. 

He was Joshua Martin who had been wounded by 
a ball passing through his body and shattering his 
hip, had been left for dead, but after their depar- 
ture recovered consciousness, followed their tracks 
to the lake. When the sleigh reached him he fell 
exhausted, but recovered from his wound, was made 
a lieutenant, served through the war, and died, at 
an advanced age, in G-offstown, New Hampshire. 

General Stark used to say that he never was 
conscious of taking the life of any one except in 
that battle. That while defending themselves he 
noticed that several balls from a certain direction 
struck near him. In a moment he discovered an 
Indian stretched at full length on a rock behind a 
large tree. His gun was soon ready, and when the 
Indian rose to fire another shot, he put a bullet 



GEN. JOHN STARK. 307 

through his head, and the savage rolled off the rock 
into the snow. 

After the conquest of Canada had been com- 
pleted, Stark, then a Captain in the Rogers Rangers, 
returned home, gave his attention to the cultivation 
of his farm, care of his mills, and the settlement 
of a new township, subsequently called Dunbarton. 
In the meantime he kept in touch with the rebellious 
spirit of the most intelligent colonists, was a mem- 
ber of the New Hampshire Committee of Safety, 
and inspired the hearts of his fellow countrymen 
with the spirit of liberty and armed resistance to 
tyranny. 

The unprovoked slaughter of the citizens of 
Massachusetts on the nineteenth of April, 1775, 
at Lexington and Concord, by British troops, was 
the culminating act that concentrated the minds of 
the colonists to resist by force of arms the acts of 
the British government. The committee of safety 
iu Massachusetts, by letter, gave the story of the 
day to New Hampshire and Connecticut, whose 
assistance they entreated. "TVe shall be glad," 
they wrote, ""that our brethren who come to our 
aid ma}^ be supplied with military stores and pro- 
visions, as we have none of either more than is 
absolutely necessary for ourselves." And without 
stores, or cannon, or powder, or money, or any 
government organization with power to act, men 
voluntarily assembled on the 2 2d of that month 
called themselves the Massachusetts Congress and 
resolved that a New England army of thirty thous- 
and men should be raised. 

That message found Stark at work at his mill a 
mile from his house. He left his work at once, 
went to his house, changed his dress, mounted his 
horse and took the road for Boston. On his way 



308 GEN. JOHN STARK. 

he called to arms every man be saw and named 
Medford as a place of rendezvous. Volunteers 
from New Hampshire thronged the road leading 
towards Boston, and Stark made Medford his 
stopping place. Then his New Hampshire friends 
gathered and elected him Colonel of the first regi- 
ment and he proceeded to drill his men as they 
came. Every man had to bring his own arms 
and ammunition, and find himself. No commissary 
department, no quarter-master department, and no 
government behind them. No man had the right 
to command and no one was bound to obey. And 
this condition of things so remained till the time- 
honored seventeeenth of June, by which time there 
had been three regiments of New Hampshire men 
organized by volunteers and even waiting in the 
vicinity of Boston for the opportunity to show their 
faith by their works. On the 16th of June the 
Massachusetts Committee of Safety directed Colo- 
nel Prescott, with as many volunteers as would go 
with him, to go on Bunker Hill in Charlestown and 
construct a redoubt, and he, and about one thous- 
and men from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, 
and Counecticut, went the same night, with picks, 
spades, and intrenching tools. Colonel Prescott 
called to his aid, Richard Gridley, an experienced 
engineer, to select the spot for their earth works, 
and with the light of the stars he drew the lines of 
a redoubt nearly eight rods square. The men toiled 
all night to construct the redoubt without any food 
except what each man had in his knapsack the 
evening before, and no food or refreshment was 
sent to them the next day before the assault on 
them by the British troops. The reader will call to 
mind that at that time there were in Boston 5,000 
British soldiers, armed and equipped, commanded 



GEN. JOHN STARK. 309 

by able and experienced officers, and in the harbor 
lay five vessels of war armed and manned for the 
purpose of holding the New England colonists in 
subjection to the British government, and can har- 
monize the act of the Committee of Safety in send- 
ing raw recruits with no cannon, little powder, few 
or no bayonets, to build and man a redoubt within 
reach of the shells of the Lively in Charles river 
and within an hour's march of 5,000 soldiers, only 
by saying that the result shows that • ' they builded 
wiser than the}^ knew." But, as we have to do with 
the part taken by General Stark we must leave 
other details. 

In the afternoon of the 17th, General Ward, who 
assumed to act under the direction of the Commit- 
tee of Safety, after repeated calls from Colonel 
Prescott for reinforcements ordered Colonel Stark, 
then at Medford with the first New Hampshire 
regiment, and Colonel James Reid with the third 
New Hampshire regiment, then at Charlestown, to 
go to the assistance of Colonel Prescott. Before 
they could reach Bunker Hill, the forces of General 
Howe had crossed over in boats from Boston and 
landed, under cover of the firing from the shipping 
at Moulton's Point in Charlestown. When Stark 
and Reid came upon the ground, they saw between 
the redoubt and the Mystic river, about one-third of 
a mile of open ground, over which General Howe 
could march his troops and cut off Prescott and his 
men from retreat, and without waiting the order of 
anyone, assumed to do the one tiling which the 
eternal fitness of things demanded should be done. 
He ordered his men to make a show of breastwork 
out of a fence that extended down the hill in rear 
of the redoubt to the bank of the Mystic, by taking 
the rails off of a parallel fence near it, and placing 



310 GEN. JOHN STARK. 

them interlocked with those already standing and 
stuffing the newly mown hay then covering the 
ground into the interstices, and by hastily throwing 
up a wall of stones on the shore of the Mystic, 
behind which they were to conceal themselves from 
the aim of the assaulting troops under Howe, giving 
his men orders not to fire their guns till they could 
see the white of the eye of the man aimed at, and not 
to fire at random, but to aim at a particular man 
with intent to kill. Having been born and reared 
among the surviving soldiers of that regiment, 
listened often to their accounts of the battle and its 
incidents, I give those incidents as verities. The 
men at the rail fence knew and felt that the only 
shield between them and death was their trusty 
firelock. 

The British assault was made by two divisions 
simultaneously. The force against the redoubt was 
commanded by Brig. -General Pigott, that against 
the New Hampshire men behind the rail fence was 
commanded by Major-General Howe. The British 
force consisted of eleven companies of grenadiers, 
the like number of light infantry, five line batta- 
lions, and a proportion of field artillery. Howe 
chose the grenadiers and light infantry, the elite 
of the several regiments from which they were 
detached to form a storming party against the 
American lines between the earthworks and the 
Mystic, and of them he took command in person. 
His plan of attack was, while a movement was 
making against the entire line, for the Light Infan- 
try in column of sections to follow the sandy shore 
of the Mystic under the high bank and force their 
way past or through the ranks of the provincials, 
and for the grenadiers marching on the higher 
ground of the bank to deploy into line at a suitable 



GEN. JOHN STARK. 311 

distance and advance upon the provincials in front. 
Before the combined onset of the two formidable 
bodies, he did not doubt but that the rustic medley 
would take instant flight from their extemporized 
defences and leave the way open for both wiugs of 
his army to encircle the earthworks with a wall of 
steel that must render them an easy conquest. 
With Stark's men, ammunition was scarce and 
precious, only a gill of powder and fifteen bullets 
had been supplied to each man. 

The hosts of red coated soldiery moved forward 
in columns, their advance covered by a furious 
cannonade from the artillery, the shipping and the 
battery at Copp's hill. The light infantry, in 
solid column, pursue the allotted march along the 
sandy shore, the grenadiers spread into line on the 
higher ground and pour their volleys as they 
advance, to which the provincials make no reply 
till the distance is lessened so that every shot will 
tell, and then a sheet of flame leaped from the 
whole line of the provincials at the rail fence, and 
in an instant the front of the assaulting force is 
changed into a mass of prostrate and struggling 
humanity. Vainly those gallant soldiers strive to 
stand before that pitiless storm of death-dealing 
fire that confronts them. Another and another 
rank melts before it, and the remnants of those 
proud columns hurry out of the reach of the death 
dealing fnsilade. Howe reformed his thinned ranks 
and ordered his troops to the attack the second 
time. Again the men behind the fence defer all 
reply to the fire of the British till they come within 
the like short range, and when reached, the like 
torrent breaks forth anew and decimates again and 
again the struggling ranks of the assailants. The 
carnage inflicted by the defenders of that frail 



312 GEN. JOHN STARK. 

barrier is so frightful and continuous that a second 
time the assailants rush out of the terrific slaughter. 
Stark wisely held his men from pursuit. 

These two bloody repulses convinced General 
Howe that he could not force his wa} T by the shore 
of the Mystic, and was driven to change his tactics. 
He determined to bring before the provincials at 
the rail feuce only a sufficient force to hold them in 
check, and to throw the entire residue of his force 
against the earthworks. To do that, he ordered 
his troops to free themselves from their knapsacks 
and directs Pigott, who had twice been repulsed 
from the earthworks, to push his men forward in 
column without firing or an instant's pause till they 
reached the earthworks. By this time reinforce- 
ments had arrived from Boston under General Clin- 
ton, who then took command. The new manoeuvre 
is successful. The breastwork being enfiladed lyy 
cannon, the redoubt being assaulted on three sides, 
its garrison thinned in numbers, weakened by hun- 
ger and toil, and weaponless by the exhaustion of 
their ammunition and without bayonets, by order of 
Colonel Prescott, sullenly retreat, and the entrench- 
ment is thronged with the victorious arnry. But 
the defenders of the rail feuce and the shore of the 
Mystic still retain their position, and not till their 
compatriots in the redoubt make good their retreat 
do they quit the line they absolutely held, and retire 
in good order — unpursued. 

This brief narrative shows the military genius of 
General Stark. He came upon the ground without 
any previous knowledge of the purpose of his friends 
or his enemies. The British government had not 
declared war on the American colonists, the colo- 
nists had not formed a national government nor 
declared war on Great Britain. He had held a 



GEN. JOHN STARK. 313 

commission as an officer in the British army for 
seven long years and had never lifted his hand 
against that government. He had fought the French 
and Indians, but always under the British flag. 
Here was a new unheard-of condition of things. 
No superior officer giving him command, no flag- 
over his head, the panoply of uo civil government 
over him, — but he instinctively knew that his 
Massachusetts friends owned the soil on which they 
had built their redoubt, that as Englishmen they 
had the common law right to build their own castle 
on their own land and peaceably occupy it and 
defend it against any and all intruders. He saw 
the troops landing at the foot of the hill, and the 
cannon from the armed vessels dealing out death to 
friends in the redoubt, and with the keen eye of the 
born soldier he saw the exposed flank aud how 
to defend it, and with the inspiration of the mo- 
ment, the rail fence, the wall on the shore, and the 
new mown hay sprang into life as the panoply not 
only of his brave New Hampshire neighbors who 
had put themselves under his command, but would 
save from slaughter the devoted men in the redoubt 
and rescue the Committee of Safety from the peril- 
ous blunder of sending brave men without provision 
or adequate means for their own defence into a 
defenceless position which of itself invited an attack 
from the well-known hostile force, ready to slaugh- 
ter them at an hour's notice, which the rising sun 
of the next day would give. The sublime genius of 
John Stark, reaching Bunker Hill in the afternoon 
of June 17, 1775, with the gill of powder and 
fifteen bullets he was enabled to supply each man 
by means of the forethought and tact of John 
Sullivan, the December before, made the military 
banking capital of New England provincials on 



314 GEN. JOHN STARK. 

Bunker Hill, screened the Committee of Safety from 
a blunder that would otherwise have been worse 
than a crime, and built Bunker Hill monument. 

The space assigned for this article will not permit 
following General Stark through the Revolutionary 
War. The first victory won by Washington was 
by the aid of Stark and his brave New Hampshire 
troops at Trenton. The Battle of Bennington 
fought by Stark with volunteers, his only commis- 
sion being from the provincial government of New 
Hampshire is attested by the somewhat tardy monu- 
ment in its memory, and enabled Gates to capture 
the well appointed army of Burgoyne and gave 
France confidence in the ability of the American 
colonies to maintain their independence and the 
right to be recognized among the nations of the 
world. He was the last General of the Revolution- 
ary War to be called to his heavenly reward. New 
Hampshire has honored all her citizens by placing a 
life-sized statue of his body in the Hall of Statuary 
at Washington. 

James Dinsmoor. 



Authorities cited: Bancroft's History, Frothingham's 
Siege of Boston, Botta's History of American War, 
Address of Ex-Governor Bell, Life of Gen. John Stark. 



GLOSSARY. 



FOR DIRECTIONS HOW TO PRONOUNCE MANY OF THE 
SCOTCH WORDS, I WOULD REFER THE READER TO 
THE DIRECTIONS GIVEN AT THE HEAD OF BURNS' 
GLOSSARY, AND PARTICULARLY FOR THE PRONUNCI- 
ATION OF SOME OF THE VOWELS AND DIPHTHONGS. 



A', all 

Aboon, above, up 

Ae, oue 

Aft", off 

Afore, before 

Aft, oft, or often 

Aiblins, perhaps 

Ain, own 

Aim, iron 

Aitb, an oath 

Aits, oats 

Alake, alas 

Alane, alone 

Amaist, or maist, almost 

Amang, among 

An', and, if 



Ance, once 

Ane, one 

Asklent, asquint, aslant 

Athort, athwart 

Anither, another 

Auldfarran or auldf arrant, 
sagacious, cunning, pru- 
dent 

Auld, old 

Ava, at all 

Awa, away 

Awfu', awful 

Awnie, bearded 

Ayont, beyond 

Aye, ever, always 



316 



GLOSSARY. 



Ba' ball 

Bad, did bid 

Bairn, a child 

Baith, both 

Ban, to swear 

Bane, bone 

Bang, beat, to strike 



Blether, to talk idly, non- 
sense 
Brunstaue, brimstone 
Blight, a pen for sheep 
Bardie, diminutive of bird 
Barnie, diminutive of burn 
Burn, or burnie, a water, 



Bardie, diminutive of Bard a rivulet 



Bauld, bold 

Ben, into the parlor 

Bethankit, giving thanks 
or grace, after meat 

Beuk, a book 

Bicker, a short race 

Biggin, building a house 

Biggit, or big'd, built 

Birk, birch 

Blastic, a shrivelled 
dwarf, a term of con- 
tempt 

Blastit, blasted 

Blate, bashful 

Blaw, to blow, to boast 

Bleerie, eyes sore with 
rheum 



Bletheriu, talking idly 

Blink, a little while, to 
look kindly, to shine 
by fits. 

Blude, blood 

Bonnie, or bonney, hand- 
some, beautiful 

Brae, a declivity, preci- 
pice, the slope of a hill 

Braid, broad 

Brak, broke 

Braw, fine, handsome 

Brawly, very well, finely 

Breeks, breeches 

Brig, a bridge 

Brither, a brother 

Brock, a badger 



C. 

Ca', to call, to name Cannily, wildly, dexter- 

Ca'd, called ously, gently 

Cairn, a loose heap of Carlin, a stout old woman 

stones Chap, a fellow, a blow 

Caring, gentle, dexterous Caddie, a person, young 
Canna, cannot fellow 



GLOSSARY. 



317 



Caff, chaff 

Callan, a boy 

Canty, cheerful, merry 

Cautraip, a charm, a spell 

Carl, an old man 

Caudron, a caldron, pot, 

or kettle. 
Cauld, cold 
Chiel, a young fellow 
Clootie, an old name for 

the Devil. 
Chaw'd it, chew'd it 
Claise, or claes, clothes 
Cood, cud 
Cowp, to tumble over 



Cozie, snug 

Cuif , a blockhead, a ninny 

Cleekit, having caught 

Claith, cloth 

Claithing, clothing 

Claivers, nonsense 

Clash, an idle tale 

Coost, did cast 

Cowpit, tumbled over 

Craik, to converse 

Crowdie, the proper Yan- 
kee name of it is hasty - 
pudding 

Creepin', creeping 



D. 



Daddie, a father 

Daft, merry, giddy, fool- 
ish 

Daur, to dare 

Dearie, diminutive of dear 

Deils, devils 

Dinna, do not 

Dool, sorrow, to lament, 
to mourn 

Downa, cannot, am not 
able 

Doylt, stupid 



Drap, a drop, to drop 

Daffln, merriment, foolish- 
ness 

Donsey, unlucky 

Daurk, a day's labor 

Deave, to deafen 

Ding, to worst, to push 

Douce, sober, prudent. 

Dowff, pithless, wantiug 
strength 

Dowie, worn with grief 

Drappet, dropped 



Ee, the eye 
Een, the eyes 
Eneugh, enough 



Eerie, frighted, fear of 
spirits 



318 



GLOSSARY. 



F. 



Fa', fall, lot to fall 
Fa's, does fall, water falls 
Fae, a foe 

Fan nd, or faun', did find 
Fash, trouble, care 
Fause, false 
Faut, fault 
Fearfu', frightful 
Fear na', fear not 
Feart, or fear'cl frighted 
Feckfu', large, stout 
Feckless, puny, weak 
Ferly, to wonder, a won- 
der 
Fier, sound, healthy 
Fleech, to su plicate in a 

flattering manner 
Fleechin', supplicating 
Fley, to scare, to frighten 



Fou', full, drunk 

Fouth, plenty, enough, or 

more than enough 
Fu', full 
Fyke, to be in a fuss about 

trifles 
Flinders, shreds, broken 

to pieces 
Fit, a foot 
Flickering, to meet, to 

encounter with 
Forebears, forefathers 
Forbye, besides 
Forgather, to meet, to 

encounter with 
Forgie, to forgive 
Frae, from 
Frien', friend 
Funy, full of merriment 



Gab, the mouth, to speak 

boldly, or pertly 
Gaet, gait, manner of 

walking 
Gate, way, road 
Gang, to walk, to go 
Gar, to force, to make 
Gart, forced to do, com- 
pelled 
Gear, riches, goods of 

any kind 
Geek, to toss the head 
in wantonness or scorn 



Ghaist, a ghost 

Gie, to give, gied, gave 

Gowan, the flower of the 

daisy, dandelion, etc. 
Gowd, gold 
Gawk, a cuckoo, a term 

of contempt 
Gae, to go 
Gaed, went 
Gane, gone 
Gain', going 
Gin, if, against 
Gif, if 



GLOSSARY. 319 



Girn, to grin, to twist the Glide, the Supreme Being, 

features good 

Girnin', grinning Guidman, master of the 

Gawin', going house 

Gawky, half witted, fool- Guidwife, mistress of the 

ish house 

Glaurn'd, aimed, Greetiu', crying, weeping 

snatched Grievin, grieving 

Glen, dale, deep valley Guid, good 
Gleg, sharp, ready Graip, a pronged instru- 

Glegger, sharper, or apter ment for cleaning sta- 
Gley, a squint, to squint bles 
Gloamin', the twilight Graith, accoutrements, 
Glower, to stare, to look furniture, etc. 
Glowred, looked, stared Graith, gear 
Grun', the ground Gully, or gullie, a large 

Gowl, to howl like a dog knife 



Ha', hall Haffing, nearly half, partly 

Haffet, the temple, the Hawkie, a cow, properly 

side of the head oue with a white face 

Halesome, healthful, Hale, whole, tight, healthy 

wholesome Haly, holy 

Hame, home Haud, to hold 

Han', or haun, hand Hersel', herself 

Hairst, harvest Himsel', himself 

Happit, hoped Hing, to hang 

Hae, to have Hingin', hanging. 

I. 

1', in Ingle, fire, fire-place 

Ilk, or ilka, each, every Ise, I shall, or will 
Ither, other, one another Jocteleg, a folding-knife 



320 GLOSSARY. 



Ken, to know Kye, cows 

Kencl, or kent, knew Kith, or kin, kindred 



Laddie, diminutive of lad Lan', land 

Laigh, low Lane, lone 

Laith, loath Lede, to leave 

Lanely, lonely Leal, loyal, kind, faithful, 

Lang, long true 

Lawlan', lowland Libbet, gelded 

Lear, lore, learning Libbin-knife, gelding- 

Leezeme, a phrase of con- knife 

gratulation ; as, I am Lift, sky 

happy in thee, or prond Lilt, a ballad, a tune, to 

of thee sing 

Liltin', singing Livin', living 

Linkin', tripping Lint, flax 

Linn, a waterfall Loanie, diminutive of loan 

Lison, a precipice Loan, or loanin', the place 

Loof, the palm of the hand of milking 
Lowe, a flame Loup, jump, leap 

Lowse, to loose Lug, the ear 

Lap, did leap JLyart, of a mixed color, 

Lambie, diminutive of grey 

lamb 

M. 

Maist, most, almost Men', to mend 

Mair, more Min', mind, remembrance 

Mak', to make Minnie, mother, dam 

Mang, among Mirk, dark 

Maun, must Misca', miscall, to abuse 

Mavis, the thrush Mither, a mother 

Meere, a mare Mony, or monie, many 



GLOSSARY. 321 



M. 



Morn, the next day, to- Musie, diminutive of 

morrow muse 

Mou', the mouth Mysel', myself 

Muckle, or mickle, great, 

big, much 

N. 

Na', no, not, nor ^Naig, a horse 

Nae, no, not any Nane, none 

Naething, or naithing, Negleckit, neglected 

nothing Neuk, nook, or corner 

Niffer, an exchange, to Niest, next 

barter Nowte, oxen, black cattle 

O. 

O', of Onrsel', or oursel's, our- 

Ony, or onie, any selves. 

O't, of it Ower, over, too 

Ourie, shivering, drooping 

P. 

Paitrick, a partridge Pine, pain, uneasiness 

Pauky, or pewkie, cun- Pit, to put 

ning, sly Pou, to pull 

Plew, or pleugh, a plough Pout, or poud, did pull 
Peisky, a trick Pow, the head 

Poortith, poverty Prief, proof 

Powther, powder Prieved, proved 

Pownie, a little horse Pund, or pun', pound 
Parritch, oatmeal pudding 

Q 

Quat, to quit Quak, to quake 



322 



GLOSSARY. 



Reamin', brimful, froth- 
ing- 

Re mead, remedy 
Restruked, restricted 
Rew, repent 
Rig, a ridge 
Rin, to run 
Runin', running 
Routine, plentiful 
Routli, or rowth, enough, 

plenty 
Rung, a cudgel 



Reek, smoke 
Reekin', smoking 
Reekit, smoking, smoky 
Rief, plenty, abounding 
Roose, to praise, to com- 
mend 
Roun', round, about 
Runkled, wrinkled 
Row, to roll 
Rowt, rolled, wrapped 
Rowte, to low, to bellow 



S 



Sae, so 

Saft, soft 

Sair, to serve, a sore 

Sairly, sorely 

Saul, soul 

Sant, salt 

Scar, to scare, a fright 

Scaith, or skaith, to 

damage 
Sconner, a loathing, to 

loathe 
Screed, to tear, a rent 
Scrimp, to scant 
Scrimpet, scanty 
Sklent, slant 
SeP, self, alone 
Sen', to send 
Shana, shall not 
Shaw, to show 
Shaw me, show me 



Shaw, a small wood in a 

hollow place 
Shool, a shovel 
Shoon, shoes 
Shonther, shoulder 
Sib, near, akin, like a 

brother 
Sic, such 

Sicker, sure, steady 
Siller, silver 
Simmer, summer 
Sin', since 
Sin, son 

Sklentin', slanting- 
Slaw, slow 
Slee, sly 
Sma', small 
Snowk, to scent, to snuff 

like a dos; 



GLOSSARY 



323 



Snowkiri' roun', smelling 
round 

Sonsie, lucky, fortunate 

Sowans, the seeds of oat- 
meal sown, etc. 

Steek, to shut 

Steekit, closely shut up 

Strae, straw 

Strappan, strapping lad, 
tall and handsome 

Swaird, sword 

Swap, an exchange 

Swither, to hesitate in 
choice 

Skelp, to strike, to slap 

Smoor, to smother 

Smoored, smothered 

Snaw, snow 

Sued, to lop off 



Snool, to submit tamely, 

to sneak 
Souple, flexible, swift 
Squeel, screech, scream 
Stane, a stone 
Stap, stop 

Staw, did steal, to surfeit 
Stey, sleep 
Stirk, a cow or bull a 

year old 
Stown, stolen 
Stumpie, diminutive of 

stump 
Sugh, the continued sound 

of wind or water 
Swankie, a light strapping 

young fellow, or girl 
Syne, since, ago, then 



Tae, toe 

Tak', take 
Tap, the top 
Tauld, or tald, told 
Tent, heed, caution 
Tentfu', or tentie, heed- 
ful, cautious 
Tentweel, take good heed 
Teugh, tough 
Thae, these 
Thegither, together 
Thir, these 
Tliow, a thaw 



Thraw, to twist 

Thrawin', twisted 

Tocker, marriage por- 
tion 

Toun, town 

Twa, two 

Twathree, a few 

Twin, to part 

Thud, to make a loud 
noise 

Tillt, to it 

Thinner, timber 

Tine, to loose 



324 



GLOSSARY. 



T. 

Thole, to suffer, to endure Tint, lost 

Towzie, rough, shagged Trowth, truth, a petty oath 

Trow, to believe Twacl, it would 

U. and V. 

Unco, strange, uncouth, Unkend, unknown 

very great, prodigious Unskaithed, undamaged, 
Urchin, a hedge-hog unhurt 

Unsicker, unsure, un- Upo', upon 
steady Vera, very 



w. 



Wa', wall 
Wad, would 
Wadna, would not 
Wae, woe, sorrowful 
Waes me, alas ! O the 

pity! 
Waifu', wailing 
Wair, or ware, to expend 
Wale, choice 
Wald, chose 
Wame, the belly 
Wamefu', a belly-full 
Wark, work 
Warl, or war Id, world . 
Warly, worldly, eager in 

amassing wealth 
Warst, worst 
Wat, wet 

I wat, I wot, I know 
Waught, draught 
Wattle, a twig, a wand 



Weelfare, welfare 
Weet, rain, wetness 
We'se, we shall 
Wha, who 
Whare, where 
Whare'er, wherever 
Whase, whose 
Whunstane, whinstone 
Whyles, whiles, sometimes 
Wow, an exclamation of 

pleasure, or wonder 
Wrang, wrong 
Wi', with 
Wifie, endearing term for 

wife 
Wimpliu', waving, mean- 
dering 
Win', wind 
Winna, will not 
Winnock, a window 
Withouten, without 



GLOSSARY. 325 

w. 

Wankrife, not apt to sleep Winsome, hearty, vaunted, 

Waur, worst gay 

Wean, a child Wons, dwells 

Wee, little Won, or win, gain by 

Weebit, a small piece conquest 

Weel, well Woo, wool 

Woo, to court, to make Wordy, worthy 

love to Wyl e 5 beguile 

Woody, a rope made of Wyte, blame 

withs. 



Ye, this pronoun is fre- Yestreen, yesternight 
quently used for thou Yett, a gate 

Year, is used for both Yird, earth 
singular and plural Yont, beyond 
years Yoursel', yourself 

Yerk, a jerk Yowe, an ewe